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Ugandan church blocks attendance by U.S. members

Ugandan church blocks attendance by U.S. members

Ugandan Anglican church leaders have written to the U.S. supporters of an openly gay bishop, warning them they are not welcome at the consecration of their new leader, a church official said Monday. The Reverend Stanley Ntagari, secretary of the Church of Uganda, said church officials had identified U.S. clergy who supported U.S. Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson and had specifically told them not to attend the January 25 ceremony. Invitations to Bishop Henry Orombi's consecration as archbishop of Uganda were sent out prior to Robinson's election as bishop in charge of the New Hampshire diocese. "The New Hampshire diocese had replied that it is sending a delegation. But then on November 1 the New Hampshire diocese consecrated a gay bishop, and we have written to them that they are not welcome. We have written to the bishop of the Episcopal Church of USA that their delegation is not welcome," Ntagari said. "But we have invited the faithful bishops, opposed to gays, to come. Individual bishops have been singled out because we know them." The Episcopal Church is part of the worldwide Anglican communion, but each national church is independent. Robinson's consecration as a bishop in November created a crisis in the Anglican Church, since bishops are normally universally recognized by all churches. Most Anglican groups outside the United States oppose the ordination of gay clergy. Uganda's Anglican Church severed ties with the New Hampshire diocese and later with the U.S. Episcopal Church to protest Robinson's promotion. The Church of Uganda claims an estimated 8 million members.

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