Church of England split over gay vote ‘obvious’

Church of Uganda Archbishop Kaziimba Mugalu Stephen. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • The Church of England’s General Synod voted by 250 votes to 181 on Thursday to back a proposal by bishops to profoundly change the Church’s stance on homosexuality.

The decision this week of the Church of England’s governing body to green-light the civil marriages of same-sex couples has provoked the ire of Uganda’s top Anglican bishop.

Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba of the Church of Uganda told a media briefing on Friday that the working relationship with the Church of England has been destroyed irreparably. 

The Church of England’s General Synod voted by 250 votes to 181 on Thursday to back a proposal by bishops to profoundly change the Church’s stance on homosexuality.

After conservatives in the synod succeeded, barely, in amending the motion to state that the Church’s doctrine of marriage—that it is between a man and a woman—remains unchanged, progressives scored a decisive win in the main motion.

In a joint statement, Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, and Stephen Cottrell, the archbishop of York, hailed a “new beginning” where “the Church of England will publicly, unreservedly and joyfully welcome same-sex couples in church.”

The statement added: “The Church continues to have deep differences on these questions which go to the heart of our human identity. As archbishops, we are committed to respecting the conscience of those for whom this goes and to ensure that they have all the reassurances they need in order to maintain the unity of the Church as this conversation continues.”

Responding to the recent developments, Archbishop Kaziimba said “God cannot bless what he calls sin.”
“The message from the Church of England today is saying go and sin some more. They are even offering to bless that sin. Brethren, that is wrong, that is wrong, that is wrong,” Archbishop Kaziimba, who is also the chairperson of the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, said, adding: “We know where we are going. We know what we believe. There is no hope that we can walk together with the Church of England.”

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (R) raises his arm at the voting of a motion during the Church of England Synod, at Church House, in London, on February 7, 2023.

The Church of England’s amendment on marriage doctrine, as per Archbishop Kaziimba, goes against the biblical understanding of sex and marriage.

The prelate made clear on Friday that Thursday’s historic vote in England etched a writing on the wall. He said: “Where we are going is so obvious: We cannot walk together when we are not united.”

It is widely believed that the forthcoming Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans or Gafcon in Rwanda will confirm the Church of Uganda’s decision to sever ties with the Church of England.

“There are councils, synods, big meetings [and] provincial assembly for the final verdict,” Uganda’s top Anglican bishop said of the road ahead.

To parents
Archbishop Kaziimba, who is also the bishop of the Diocese of Kampala, warned parents and guardians about the spectre of homosexuality in schools.

“Children are back in school. Be aware of the well-funded gay organisations that are recruiting our children into homosexuality, not only in Kampala but all over the country,” he said.

Speaker of Parliament Anita Among recently asked lawmakers to interest themselves in growing cases of gay activities in a vast array of schools in the country.