While the Episcopal Church in the United States has come under fire in recent years from Anglican Churches in Africa because of "theological liberalism," the Episcopal Church fired their own accusations back today citing "lack of racial diversity" among African Anglican Churches. One diocese in particular, that of the Mbale region in Uganda, under the direction of bishop Matthias Twinomundjuni, has become the particular target of the criticism.
"These Anglican churches in East Africa have been heavily attacking us for years now." Said the Rev. Elizabeth Gunn-Hughes, of St. Paul Episcopal Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. "Mr. Twinomundjuni has been one of those leading critics, but as the old saying goes, 'People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.'"
The criticism is centered around the fact that there is 'virtually no racial diversity' in Rev. Twinomundjuni's diocese.
"If one examines the Mbale diocese, one finds virtually no persons of other races than black African in the parishes." Said Gunn-Hughes. "I think this is just appalling. They can criticize us all they want, but they're allowed to go merrily along with what they do, ignoring the minorities in their communities."
Twinomundjuni was quick to respond.
"I received a letter from this woman pastor, and I laughed at first, but later realized that she was serious. Anyone is welcome to come to one of our congregations at any time. The only reason we have almost no peoples of other races in our churches is because there are almost no peoples of other races who live in the Mbale region. It is very difficult to get people to come if they don't live in the region."
But Twinomundjuni's defense was dismissed as "double talk."
"He can make excuses, but we make a difference." Said Gunn-Hughes. "We reach out to the marginalized and downtrodden in the Episcopal Church, U.S.A. We don't turn people away from our church because of their race. That's what makes us different."