Archbishop Orombi, architect of African homophobic hate

14 Jun

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A brief history of recent actions by former Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi of the Church of Uganda, who has been described as “the architect of homophobic hate in Africa.”

Who is this man?

Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda (Photo courtesy of

Most Americans, including potential donors, have no idea what Luke Orombi’s theology and political ambition has done to undermine American foreign policy and cause a rise in misinformation and persecution of the LGBT community, not only in Uganda, but throughout Africa.

His work has also caused significant rifts between faith communities in the USA and cost millions of dollars in legal and litigation costs that could have been applied to more needy issues here and in his own country. Allow me to list some of his activities during his tenure as Archbishop from 2004 to last year.

2004: Orombi refuses to lift the inhibition imposed upon Bishop Christopher Senyonjo (who served the Diocese of West Buganda for 24 years) causing him and his family increasing financial hardship and social stigma. The bishop was not allowed to baptize or marry any of his grandchildren and was threatened with burial in unconsecrated ground if he did not recant his statements in favor of LGBT inclusion in the church. His sanctions against Senyonjo would become worse.

2007: Orombi leads the assault on the Episcopalian church property war where many disaffected congregations invite him to give Episcopal oversight to their congregations and try to seize their church properties. This legal battle has cost millions of dollars of American funds and in almost every case, the Episcopal diocese has won the case. The disaffected congregations who tried to claim these properties were acting illegally and American courts ruled against them including the California Supreme Court. Orombi gave them spiritual sanction to begin this campaign and until 2009 he oversaw these fractured congregations from Newport Beach, Calif., to Truro church in Virginia.

This was not merely an inter-church rift. The political ramifications were clear from the beginning when Orombi consecrated an American priest to become a bishop in North America to oversee this schism. The fact that this ceremony was attended by the Ugandan Prime Minister, who gave a personal message from President Museveni supporting the consecration and a gift of $1,000 to the new bishop’s fund (documented in the followingnews clip from 2007), illustrates Orombi’s political agenda:

“The Anglican Church of Uganda has consecrated an American priest as bishop to oversee Christian congregations that have split from the main Episcopal Church in the US over the issue of homosexuality.

John Guernsey was consecrated at St. James Cathedral in Mbarara town yesterday in a ceremony, presided over by the Church of Uganda Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi. He was assisted by bishops from Canada, Argentina, Kenya, Rwanda and Nigeria, and priests from the US.

Bishop Christopher Senyonjo

2007: Orombi deposes Bishop Christopher Senyonjo for creating an LGBT supportive ministry in Uganda (Integrity) and accuses him of starting his own church. The bishop is compared to someone with gangrene and was never given due process or church procedures were never followed as outlined in the Church of Uganda’s constitutions and canons:

“The archbishop blasted the Integrity organization saying it had no place in Africa. “Integrity has a beach head in Uganda but we have cut off Bishop Christopher Senyonjo for organizing the group here. He has been banned from preaching and “we will not let him function with us. What he is doing is totally unacceptable. Would you tell a man who has a leg with gangrene that you approve? No you would say it is unacceptable. You would cut it off to spare his life.”

Please click HERE for more information about Orombi’s campaign against Bishop Senyonjo.



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