Archbishop’s Press Statement on his Retirement

Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi’s Statement

Press Conference, 11th January 2012

I welcome you all to the Provincial office and want to wish you a Happy New Year! We thank God for you and that He has enabled you to pass into 2012.

As you know, on Sunday we inaugurated the 34th Diocese of the Church of Uganda in Ntungamo – South Ankole Diocese – and consecrated its first Bishop – Bishop Nathan Ahimbisibwe. During that service I shared that on Saturday I informed the House of Bishops that I intended to retire at the end of this year, and I was calling for the election of the next Archbishop.

My passion as a Christian and a leader is preaching the Gospel, and that has been my life-long calling. When I have been invited to our Dioceses on pastoral visits, I have always made it an opportunity to preach and invite people into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  So, I want to devote the rest of my life, while I am still able, to fulfilling this calling full-time.

The Constitution for the Church of Uganda is very clear that Archbishops serve only a ten-year term, and no more. If they reach the age of 65 before the end of their term, they must retire. If their ten-year term ends before they turn 65, they must retire. For me, my ten-year term was set to expire in January 2014 when I was still 64 years old. So, I am only retiring one-year early in order to focus on a ministry of preaching.

The Constitution is also very clear about the process of electing Archbishops.

  • An Archbishop must be at least 50 years old. Currently, out of our 36 Bishops, 29 are 50 years and older, and are, therefore, eligible to become the Archbishop.
  • An election of an Archbishop can’t take place if there is any Diocese without a Bishop. So, all Dioceses must have a Bishop in office, which we currently do.

June 22 this year the House of Bishops will come together and elect an Archbishop.

Once we know who has been elected as the next Archbishop, that Bishop will go through a process of saying farewell to his Diocese, because he will shift to Kampala and also become the Bishop of Kampala Diocese. Likewise, that Diocese will begin the process of electing a new Bishop.

It’s my expectation that the enthronement of the new Archbishop will take place in December. At that time, I will hand over the pastoral staff to the new Archbishop who will then be invested with the authority to lead the Church of Uganda as Archbishop.

The Presiding bishop at the enthronement is the Dean of the Province.

For me, I will retire to Nebbi where I have my personal home and continue serving the Lord through preaching while based there.

Until December, I will continue to do the work of the Archbishop and the Bishop of Kampala Diocese.  I have enjoyed working with you and thank you for the way you have supported me and the Church of Uganda during my time as Archbishop. I do look forward to this last year with you and believe that we will continue to have an impact on our great country of Uganda, especially as we look forward to celebrating our 50th anniversary of independence.

I want to call upon all people of Uganda to join us in prayer for this great exercise.  God, who knows who my successor will be, will take charge if we allow him to do so by prayer.

Thank you very much for coming.

The Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi