Why Uhuru said no to sacrament at Anglican church
President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, left congregants in laughter after a light-hearted interaction during a special church service at the All Saints Cathedral on Sunday, November 5.
After being offered an opportunity to address the faithful, a jovial Kenyatta said he was surprised by the generosity of the Anglican Church for offering him a chance to celebrate Holy Communion despite him being a Roman Catholic.
“Where I come from (Catholic Church), we don’t offer Communion to strangers and I was quite willing to go up but then I realised that this event is live and my Cardinal may be watching, and I wasn’t sure how he may respond to that,” said Kenyatta, referring to Cardinal John Njue.
Archbishop Welby, who is the global leader of the Anglican Communion, did not skip a beat and quickly responded in kind when gifting the President-elect after the latter’s address.
“Given that I gave the Pope a gift last Friday and he didn’t say no, I think I’m allowed to give this to you without the Cardinal getting you into trouble,” said Archbishop Welby.
The principal leader of the Church of England was also jestful about having breached protocol, saying, “I’m sorry Your Excellency, I used your microphone. In England, that would be called lèse-majesté, and I would be confined in prison for many years.”
The two, alongside church faithful and fellow spiritual and political dignitaries, were in attendance at the centenary celebrations of the All Saints Cathedral, a diocese of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) which had its foundation stone laid on February 3, 1917.
President Kenyatta acknowledged the presence of the ACK in the nation’s history, saying “The ACK and the history of Kenya are one and the same thing. We have moved shoulder to shoulder through all trials and tribulations, all the way through to present time.”
The Anglican Church leader on his part called for reconciliation in Kenya as a way to solve personal and national differences.
“Since independence, Kenya has been a model for Africa, without coup d’etat, without civil war… yes with problems and trials, but for the most part keeping the peace. Can you not show us how to be a country of reconciliation,” said Archbishop Welby.
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