Friday, July 11, 2008

What the Archbishop doesn't know..., or thoughts on money

Archbishop Orombi stated that he didn't want the Church of Uganda accepting tainted money from those who support homosexuals--"with strings attached." Well, apparently he doesn't know his daughter, Sally Orombi, at whose home I spent Maundy Thursday and had Easter dinner, accepted a donation from me. Horrors!

But money is a very sticky business and I do think the Archbishop has a point, even if I don't agree with his stance. There's still an incredible patronage system that's apparent in Uganda. There are lots of strings attached to money: "We'll give you money if you do it our way." And it's understandable, too, because the patrons, whoever they may be, don't want to see their money wasted.

As far as the church goes, this is a very, very complicated issue--complicated by morality and perceptions of the wealth of the West. This is second-hand, but one church here in California with long-standing ties in Uganda was told they could no longer donate to a diocese there. The bishop told the rector of the church, "When elephants battle, the ants suffer," as I recall (I'll need to ask if that's the exact quote).

Meanwhile, the self-proclaimed "orthodox" Anglicans are apparently offering a great deal of financial support, according to the Archbishop. A quote from the aforelinked interview: "... they support us, they give us money. Oh they give us money. Since we began to relate with our orthodox brethren they have given us much more money, much more money, oh yeah, much more money. They have given us more money."

Are there strings attached? And to what purpose is that money used? Here's hoping and praying it goes to relieve suffering and help those in need. I'm not sure I care where the money comes from as long as it's going to that purpose. I doubt that any money from anyone is totally pure.

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