[Daily Monitor Kampala] David Sseppuuya: No African Pope, but have Catholics edged Anglicans?

…One hundred or 150 years from today, the generations then may look back at ours and wonder about how unenlightened we were in some spheres of life.

Take Church leadership: they will wonder about how come a people who lived in the age of air travel, the Internet, and pinhole surgery, had for long been so blind to the obvious ”“ that the strength of the Church, across its main denominations ”“ Catholicism, Anglicanism, Pentecostalism (CAP) ”“ in the late 20th and through the 21st Centuries lay in the Global South, and that is where its leadership should come from…

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary

2 comments on “[Daily Monitor Kampala] David Sseppuuya: No African Pope, but have Catholics edged Anglicans?

  1. MichaelA says:

    [blockquote] “Did the Roman Catholic Church recognise that, with the election of an Argentine cardinal to be the new Pope, or did they completely fluff the opportunity to elect a black African?”
    A fair question, however Roman Catholicism is much stronger in Latin America than in Africa, relatively speaking. I am not suggesting that was the sole, or even primary, criterion used by the Cardinals, but it remains the case that the current Pope comes from an area with a significant number of Roman Catholics. And at least a number of the Cardinals who chose him are from Africa. As Mr Sseppuuya correctly observes, Cardinal Turkson of Ghana was considered a strong contender at this conclave.

    A more apposite question is why the leader of the Anglican Communion is chosen with no input whatsoever from Africa or Asia?

    [blockquote] “The Global South must avoid others’ earlier pitfalls, put rather crudely in popular-speak as: “When Christianity went to Rome, they made it a state religion; when it went to Britain they made it a tourist attraction; when it went to America they made it a business.” Africa should remain faithful to the evangelical roots of the faith, put very succinctly in Jesus’ last words on Earth: “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”.” [/blockquote]

  2. New Reformation Advocate says:

    I’m always happy to find areas of common ground with MichaelA, and there are many of them. I heartily endorse his comment, while adding a few thoughts of my own.

    I think that when someone in Kampala expresses disappointment in how a fellow Ugandan was passed over as the next ABoC that does tend to sound a bit jealous, although it’s perfectly understandable. And why shouldn’t a Ugandan be allowed to favor the local candidate?

    More importantly, the selection of Jorge Bergoglio as the first Latin American pope still leaves a man of European descent on the throne of St. Peter. Now actually, I think it was a splendid choice, and the fact that Francis I is ethnically Italian will be a big asset as Bishop of Rome. He speaks flawless Italian and he knows the local culture almost like a native since he is only one generation removed from his family living there. Given too that so many of the cardinals and the staff of the Curia are Italians that will help Francis I in many ways. He can thus be seen as something of a transitional figure, while we still await the election of a future pope who will be ethnically Latino or African or Asian.

    Finally, I particularly appreciated how this column highlighted the striking fact that there is mention of several minor figures in the NT who were Africans: Simon the Cyrene who carried the cross, plus Simon the Black and Lucius of Cyrene among the top leaders in Antioch (Acts 13:1), as well as the famous example of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8. There is more precedent for Africans in church leadership than we in the Global North usually suppose.

    David Handy+