Thinking Anglicans

Kunonga and Canterbury

Yesterday’s Sunday Times carried a report by Christina Lamb about the deplorable state of the Anglican church in Zimbabwe, Church of the Flunkey bolsters Mugabe’s grip. This contains the following passage:

So serious is the situation that Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has intervened with the Home Office to help some priests to enter Britain. “The Church of England has received and assisted clerical refugees from the diocese of Harare,” said Lambeth Palace.

Williams has broken a long silence on the matter with a statement to The Sunday Times in effect calling for the Bishop of Harare to be suspended.

“In other jurisdictions, a priest or bishop facing such serious charges would be suspended without prejudice until the case had been closed,” the statement said. “It is therefore very difficult for Bishop Kunonga to be regarded as capable of functioning as a bishop elsewhere in the communion.”

Although Williams has no power to intervene in Zimbabwe — which comes under the authority of the autonomous Province of Central Africa — his words as leader of the worldwide Anglican church carry great influence.

If this report is correct, then some progress has been made.

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Anglicanus
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Anglicanus

Indeed the AbC has no authority in the Province of Central Africa but the man whom he has appointed to his own court of reference does, Archbishop Bernard Malango. However, whilst that archbishop seems ever ready to judge those outside his own jurisdiction and to intervene across boundaries, he does not seem willing or able to put his own house in order.

Rob Hall
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Rob Hall

Anglicanus may be confusing the Panel of Reference (which Malango does not belong to) with the Lambeth Commission on Communion (which produced the Windsor Report and which Malango belonged to). I agree that this marks a good step forward on Zimbabwe for Rowan Willams’ part – especially for the clerical refugees he’s helped. The Archbishop of Canterbury should certainly be congratulated for this. But it is a pitifully inadaquate response to the overall situation. We now have a situation where: – documented accusations of an extermely grave nature, including incitement to murder, have been made against Bishop Kunonga; – Lambeth… Read more »

Alan Marsh
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Alan Marsh

The Panel of Reference’s mandate does not mention either women bishops or homosexuality, so presumably it is open to any of those mentioned to write in and ask for its intervention?