Archbishop of Kenya retaliates in 'forged' letter row

George CongerArchbishop Eliud Wabukala

The Archbishop of Kenya has denied that he signed or approved a letter released under his signature that appeared to change Kenya's stance on its boycott of the meeting of Anglican leaders in Zambia this week.

The Most Rev Eliud Wabukala told Anglican Ink that the forgery was a ruse to defy his authority and justify the attendance of the Kenyan delegation in Lusaka. 

Archbishop Wabukala said he had been in northern Kenya when he realised the Kenya delegtion had tickets and reservations to travel to Lusaka. As he could not get there, he sent an aide to attend a meeting with the leader of the delegation to explain the Archbishop's position that was against the delegation traveling to the Anglican Consultative Council meeting.

Nigeria, Uganda and Jerusalem and the Middle East have boycotted the meeting and Archbishop Wabukala had intended that Kenya should do the same

Archbishop Wabukala said that his aide was in fact expelled from the meeting.

George CongerArchbishop Eliud Wabukala and Peter Jensen

He said the delegation then decided they would go to Lusaka. They drafted the letter in question, asked him to sign it and read it to him over his cell phone.

Parts of the document were acceptable, the archbishop noted: "the ACK does not approve of TEC. We support the Global South. We support the primates meeting."

Wabukala said the line on his cell phone had not been clear and he was unable to make out everything in the letter. "I was not comfortable. So I said I will come back and see what it is."

He added: "So when I came back to the office I found the letter had been released under my signature. This is not what I said. So I was real annoyed. I called the office of communications and said 'please do not put that thing out because it was not what I wrote'."

The letter was signed with a "rubber stamp", a digital signature used for internal church memorandums.

He said it presented a false position to the Kenyan Church and the wider Anglican Communion. "I think it is a bit of a misunderstanding, a very clear misunderstanding. That statement does not bear my position."

He added: "It is contradictory to the position of Kenya because the conclusion was against the synod of bishops, and the solid Biblical position we have taken as a Church in support of the primates in January, in support of the General South position. So after you have said all that why say, 'I am going'?"

George CongerArchbishop Eliud Wabukala

Earlier this month the general secretary of the Anglican Consultative Council, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, said: "The unsubstantiated public allegations of forgery against the members of the Kenyan delegation are scurrilous and untrue and are made in a manner against all biblical principles of appropriate behaviour."

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