Thinking Anglicans

The saga of Archbishop Malango

From last week’s Church Times :

Pat Ashworth reports at length on an episcopal saga in Central Africa, Court pursues Primate over bishop’s aborted trial. She concludes:

…The Archbishop of Canterbury has no jurisdiction in Central Africa. But there is a right of appeal to him in the canons on matters of law and fact. There is likely now to be a two-pronged attack on Archbishop Malango: a secular court compelling him to set the trial down for continuation, and a call for Canterbury to instruct him to resume the trial. New legal ground could be broken.

Dr Williams has already indicated that he believes Archbishop Malango — who is due to retire at some time in the next year — should suspend Bishop Kunonga. In a statement to The Sunday Times last month, he said: “In the context of a prolonged and political crisis, the diocese of Harare faces intolerable strain in the form of the very grave and unresolved accusations against Bishop Kunonga. In other jurisdictions, a priest or bishop facing such serious charges would be suspended without prejudice until the case had been closed. It is therefore very difficult for Bishop Kunonga to be regarded as capable of functioning as a bishop elsewhere in the Communion.”

Lambeth Palace said in a further statement on Monday: “The Palace has been in conversation with the Archbishop and others in the province as well as with the Bishop of Harare. It remains our view that due process and principles of natural justice must be followed for the benefit of all.”

Attempts to reach Archbishop Malango failed this week. A member of the Lambeth Commission, he has been prominent in the condemnation of the Episcopal Church in the United States over same-sex blessings, and of the Church of England over civil partnerships. He has described the implications of these as “staggering. . . It will seriously undermine our ability to reach people for Christ across the globe.”

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