Thinking Anglicans

Lake Malawi update

NIcholas Henderson, whose election as bishop of the diocese of Lake Malawi was not confirmed, is visiting Malawi.

There have been four reports recently, whose tenor suggests that considerable disquiet remains about earlier events there.

The Nation Malawi Pro-gay bishop to visit Malawi 3 Feb

The Chronicle Newspaper (Lilongwe) via allAfrica.com Anglican Christians for Bishop’s Impeachment 7 Feb

The Nation Malango okays pro-gay bishop visit 10 Feb

The Nation I’m not gay — rejected bishop 13 Feb

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Peter BergmanDaveSimon SarmientoRMFMerseymike Recent comment authors
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J. C. Fisher
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“Malango’s office on Friday issued a stern warning to Henderson that his visit should not involve the church. “I would like to strongly advise Nick that his private visit should remain private and any involvement with parishes in Lake Malawi Diocese will be regarded as official and therefore he should be prepared to face the consequences,” said the communiqué signed by Provincial Secretary Eston Pembamoyo.” Now let me see if I have this straight: Father Henderson visits Lake Malawi in a *strictly personal, unofficial capacity*, and he gets threatened (with “consequences”), but African bishops are setting themselves up, officially, as… Read more »

Rob Hall
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Rob Hall

Malango to The Chronicle Newspaper (Lilongwe) was “insisting that he will ensure that the truth prevails and that natural justice is applied” and told The Chronicle that “I do not think that it is in my interest that I bring confusion in the church, but we are trying to follow every right procedure and that we stand firm on our doctrine and indeed apply natural justice”. Given Malango’s support of the tyrannical Bishop Kunonga of Harare, and his actions in Lake Malawi, his grasp of such concepts as “truth”, “natural justice”, “right procedure”, “doctrine” and so on looks distinctly shaky.… Read more »

Dave
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Dave

JCF wrote: “What’s wrong w/ this picture?”

Dear JCF, how about ultra-liberal Brit tries to become Bishop of conservative African diocese ?

I con only imagine what the fall-out for the local church would have been if he had been accepted.

Christopher Calderhead
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Christopher Calderhead

Te February 13th article disturbed me greatly. The hierarchy got what it wanted and stymied the election. So why the vicious tone? I see no reason to spread rumors about Henderson (like saying he’s homosexual). And to threaten him with consequences if he visits parishes is uncharitable at best. As I understand it, he got elected because of long-standing humanitarian work in the region. So the hierarchy looks to me to be acting spitefully and vindictively, for no particularly good reason. Dave, you might be right: Henderson might have had a hard time as bishop there (we’ll never know, since… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
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Your “Brit tries to become Bishop” is a radical re-interpretation of the text, Dave. ;-/

Merseymike
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Merseymike

Dave ; didn’t the local Church there select him as their Bishop??

RMF
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RMF

Yes,Henderson was selected by the people of the diocese to be their bishop, he wasn’t being forced on anyone, and on his recent visit was warmly and happily greeted by them. He has worked there for nearly 20 years. The Diocese is Lake Malawi; the province of which it is a part, is composed of several African countries. The primate of the province and provincial bishops, bishops in other countries, voided his selection and imposed their own candidate; the diocese then flatly rejected that as a violation of both the canons and their own discernment process, and demanded Henderson be… Read more »

Peter Bergman
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Peter Bergman

RMF: RMF, Henderson has not worked in Malawi for 20 years. Rather, he made a number of visits over the years, was friends with the late bishop and raised a good bit of money for local projects. He does not speak any of the local languages. I suspect some people thought (probably with reason) that he’d bring some money into that impoverished country, but these are post-colonial days and ‘progressives’ shouldn’t support this (even if some see it as a ‘wedge’ issue).

RMF
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RMF

Oh dear, now he has not been working in Malawi for 20 years. :/
(No doubt you have some “robust” definition of “working in.”)

As to what people should support, he was duly selected by established mechanisms for discernment.

And the points you raise, were not offered in defense of brushing him aside . The points raised against him were that he is gay, supports gays, and is not black.

Dave
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Dave

Dear Mike

I can only imagine that either the selection panel was not aware of what MCU is, or did not think hard about the effects on the church in that diocese if Revd Henderson had been made Bishop. Personally I think that we already have a disproportionate number of MCU bishops in the CofE, given their miniscule and dwindling support among the laity and clergy. But we all know that the house of bishops is disproportionately liberal and catholic – successful applicants are, “preferably”, both 🙁

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

How many (few) “MCU bishops” do you think there are then, Dave?

Who is “we” in “we all know”?

And what on earth does the range of views of the CofE House of Bishops have to do with the suitability of anybody to be a bishop in Malawi, anyway?

Dave
Guest
Dave

Dear Simon, three I think. For the rest I was commenting primarily on the MCU’s disproportionate power. Given the MCUs low support down the hierarchy (and in the laity) compared to Reform, say, who are much much more popular and still have exactly 0 diocesans…. (that is I think an outcome that the HoB are not addressing)

Peter Bergman
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Peter Bergman

Simon, my contacts tell me that three bishops in England are linked with MCU: +Saxby, +Wharton and +Selby. Further to Dave’s post, I understand that about 15 diocesan bishops in England are linked with ‘Affirming Catholicism’, and none with ‘Forward in Faith’ or ‘Reform’. It does seem that these two groups are kept out of the ‘magic circle’ by whatever way bishops are appointed in England. ‘Cost of Conscience’ did a very extensive survey of clergy belief in 2002 and received these self-reported returns: “Nearly 20% of the Affirming Catholics were connected to Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, 11% to… Read more »