Thinking Anglicans

ABC and ACC on Zimbabwe

From this morning’s BBC Radio 4 Today programme:

0733 Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams on world poverty, Aids and Zimbabwe

Listen with Real Audio (8 minutes)

ACNS Anglicans call on Zimbabwe Government to halt policies of destruction
Full text of resolution as passed is below the fold.

BBC Asylum returns immoral – Williams
The Times Ruth Gledhill Archbishop attacks ‘immoral’ deportations to Zimbabwe
Reuters Envoy wants ‘comprehensive’ picture of Zimbabwe
Press Association ‘Immoral’ to Send Asylum Seekers Back, Says Archbishop
ENS Zimbabwe crisis, Lambeth Conference planning raised by ACC
This includes a note on the presentation by Tom Wright.

Earlier reports on Zimbabwe
Press Association Bishop Backs Zimbabwean Asylum Seekers
Observer Church hits at Zimbabwe deportations

Resolution Text

“The Anglican Consultative Council acknowledges the social and historical imbalance that the people of Zimbabwe have experienced in the tenure of their land, their implications the current crisis and the need for them to be addressed. However, the Council:

  • notes with profound sorrow and concern, and condemns, the recent political developments in Zimbabwe where hundreds of thousands of persons have had their homes destroyed and have become displaced persons within their own country, and where:
    • after up to two years of drought many families are dependent on relief but food distribution is often refused to those who do not support the political party in power
    • those suffering from HIV/AIDS and orphans do not receive appropriate help from the government
    • there are serious restrictions on democracy
    • there is little freedom of speech or tolerance, and human rights are denied
    • politicians and uniformed forces act as if they are above the law
    • people are arrested, imprisoned without fair trial, and tortured.
  • asks the government of Zimbabwe to reverse its policies of destruction and begin to engage in development that eradicates poverty;
  • calls upon the leadership of the African Union to persuade the government of Zimbabwe to consider the humanitarian aspects of the situation in that country, and to act to remedy the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe;
  • supports the Church of England in its approaches to the government of the United Kingdom to reconsider its policy of repatriation of refugees to Zimbabwe;
  • welcomes the proposed pastoral visit of church leaders from South Africa to Zimbabwe to take place in the near future;
  • assures the Christian churches and the people of Zimbabwe of its prayers in this time of national disaster.”
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18 years ago

How admirable and intelligent the Archbishop is! and what a pity that the Communion he leads has wasted all this time fussing about Gene Robinson’s sexuality instead of grappling with a truly Christian response to the desperate conditions of this world.

18 years ago

I don’t think that the orthodox and the conservative wings will see the issue as being that trivial, and the issue of Gene Robinson’s sexuality is not the main point. The issue has not so much been homosexuality as the departure from what conservatives believe is the Word of God. People can deride them if they wish, but they are asking “What next? What else are we going to have kicked to touch?” That is the main concern. I reckon that if a senior member of the church of England were saying that the resurrection of Jesus was just a… Read more »

Dr Abigail Ann Young
18 years ago

I think Robert is correct. It is unfortunate, to say the least, that many people are losing sight of the main issue, the role and authority of the Bible for the church. I absolutely cannot agree with the way that many conservatives are using the Bible in this dispute — I don’t for instance see marriage as a fundamental theme in Biblical theology — but we need at least to face up to the wider issue that they are raising. Personally, I think that the Anglican position should be that, while everything necessary for salvation is contained in the scripture,… Read more »

18 years ago

Does anyone know how the churches in Africa are dealing with this? Mugabe is a past master at blaming every criticism, including that of the Zimbabwean opposition, as being down to the racism of the evil West, and no doubt the AofC will be labelled in the same way.

I know Mugabe is Roman Catholic ; and that the RC’s in Zimbabwe have been critical, but that other churchmen have been somewhat in his pocket.

I think criticism from other African churches may have more impact ; has there been any? African governments have been slow to criticise .

Alan Harrison
Alan Harrison
18 years ago

Oh, dear, the “usual thing” gets immediately dragged into this one. I worship (by choice) in theologically conservative Anglo-Catholic churches, dividing my time between the dioceses of London and Lichfield. I wholeheartedly support His Grace’s condemnation of the iniquitous government policy of deporting people to Zimbabwe. The church where I worship in the diocese of Lichfield has a number of asylum seekers (Zimbabweans, Sri Lankans and an Armenian family) among its congregation, and the view of my fellow-worshippers is very clearly that the general policy of the government on asylum is a disgrace. The Archbishop deserves the support of every… Read more »

18 years ago

I’m glad that he found somewhere but cottaging is itself the product of lack of self-esteem and a prejudiced society – its a very negative and unhelpful pursuit.

Much better that people have relationships openly and honestly, which the church doesn’t allow. No wonder some men end up taking part in that sort of activity.

Still, conservative Anglo-Catholicism is so full of hypocritical closet-cases, that he’ll find plenty willing to surreptitiously encourage him in continuing dishonesty and self-oppression.

Back to Zimbabwe, perhaps?

18 years ago

Alan, what you call “the usual thing” was prompted by dmitri’s message, where a serious issue was dismissed as a triviality.

That apart, I too am astonished over the government’s decision, and am glad the ABC stood out to be counted.

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