African bishop spurns Aids cash from pro-gay diocese

22 March 2005 07:14

An African bishop has announced that he will not accept more than $350 000 of
funding to help Aids victims in his area because it comes from an American
diocese that supported the election of a gay bishop two years ago.

Jackson Nzerebende Tembo, the Bishop of South Rwenzori in Uganda, has rejected
the money from the US diocese of Central Pennsylvania, saying its clergy and
bishop, Michael Creighton, endorsed the election of Gene Robinson as Bishop of
New Hampshire in 2003.

In a statement released to an American conservative Episcopalian website but not
to the United States diocese, Bishop Nzerebende announced: "South Rwenzori
diocese upholds the Holy Scriptures as true word of God ... Of course this will
affect some of our programmes. This includes our Aids programme and [the money]
they have been sending for ... orphans' education.

"We pray and believe that our God who created and controls silver and gold in
the world will provide for the needs of His people. Halleluiah! Amen."

The Pennsylvania diocese had been asked to provide $352 941 for the Aids
programme and a small amount to help orphans with education fees. It sends
doctors and nurses and helps to support a Christian foundation caring for more
than 100 Aids patients.

The church in Uganda, where homosexuality remains a crime punishable by life
imprisonment, has taken one of the hardest lines against the gay issue, which
threatens to split Anglicanism.

The US and Canadian churches were asked at a meeting of Anglican archbishops in
Northern Ireland last month not to attend international gatherings for the next
three years or until they repented their liberal line on homosexuality.

Although several African primates have declared themselves out of communion with
the North Americans, they have mostly continued quietly to accept cash for
church projects.

The US Episcopal church has insisted that it does not attach strings to its

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