THE All African Bishops International Conference kicked off yesterday in Entebbe, Uganda with the clerics promising to strengthen their position on intolerance of homosexuality in the Anglican Church.
The one-week conference being held under the theme; “Securing our future; Unlocking our potential,” is jointly organized by the by Church of Uganda and the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA).
The Bishop of Butare Anglican Diocese, Nathan Gasatura, who is among the twelve Bishops representing Rwanda at the conference, said that the meeting would also reinforce the need for a common voice among African bishops.
“We shall consolidate our position to really stand against homosexuality now with one voice,” he told The New Times in an interview yesterday.
“Sometimes we have been speaking with dissenting voices because this is one of the planned topics that is going to be consolidated.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, was the lead preacher at the opening of the Conference which was characterised by sermons and prayers to address development challenges that Africa faces.
Many African Bishops are unhappy about Williams’ perceived tolerance of homosexual behaviour in the Anglican community.
Gasatura said that the African clerics derive their position on homosexuality from the biblical mandate that preaches against any vice that hinders man from producing a fellow man.
He said that through a more revamped CAPA programme, African countries would now be able to help each other in dire situations like hunger and drought.
The Bishop of Zululand, Dino Gabriel, said that although homosexuality is not on the conference’s programme, it remains one of the thorny issues that are engaging the Anglican Communion.
“But we need to be good listeners and not just have prejudices against people. We should simply know what the bible tells us about our lifestyles,” he said.
In his remarks to the Bishops, Uganda’s Prime Minister Apollo Nsibambi said that Africa’s challenges like homosexuality need prayers and guidance from religious leaders.