Pat Ashworth has two significant reports in today’s Church Times on African views of the Anglican Communion.
LOUD voices from Africa, aided by the “almighty dollar” and internet lobbyists, are distorting the true picture of what Africa’s 37 million Anglicans really think about sexuality and the future of the Anglican Communion, says the Bishop of Botswana, the Rt Revd Musonda Mwamba.
The Bishop, by background a lawyer and social anthropologist, was giving the keynote address to senior judges, lawyers, bishops, and clergy at the Ecclesiastical Law Society conference “The Anglican Communion: Crisis and Opportunity”, in Liverpool at the weekend. The minds of most African Anglicans were concentrated on life-and-death issues, and they were “frankly not bothered about the whole debate on sexuality”, he said…
Read the full report at ‘Listen to the majority African voice of grace’.
THE Bishop of Central Tanganyika, the Rt Revd Godfrey Mdimi Mhogolo, has dissociated his diocese from the statement issued in December by the House of Bishops of Tanzania, the province where the Primates Meeting is to be held this month.
The Bishops declared a “severely impaired” relationship with the Episcopal Church in the United States (ECUSA), and announced that Tanzania would not knowingly accept any money from dioceses, parishes, bishops, and individuals that “condone homosexual practice or bless same-sex unions”. They described ECUSA’s response to the Windsor report as “a failure to register honest repentance for their actions” (News, 15 December).
In a long and reflective letter to the Anglican Communion, dated 26 January, Bishop Mdimi sets out Tanganyika’s position on matters of faith: “We try to express Jesus Christ in the sufferings and challenges of our communities. We cry with those who cry, and bring hope for a better future to those who suffer…
Read the report in full at Gay question is ‘not central to faith’ says Tanzanian bishop.
And the Church Times also has a leader commenting on this: Medicine or surgery? which includes:
…The Windsor process is not yet finished; and so the mechanism for expelling provinces or dioceses from the Communion is not in place — even though, at present, the Archbishop of Canterbury can withdraw his recognition. Judging by the pre-meeting rhetoric, the Global South Primates are not inclined to wait for the bureaucracy to catch up with them. Since their last meeting, the province of Nigeria has developed its mission in the United States — in contravention of the Windsor report. Archbishop Akinola and others believe that they can shun the US Presiding Bishop, Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, and thus enlarge the gulf between the Episcopal Church in the United States and the rest of the Communion.
It would be helpful if these Primates confirmed whether they are working to kill or cure. The one thing on which those on both sides of the homosexuality divide seem to agree is that the energy this dispute absorbs could be better spent. The analogy of a divorce is often used: the wrangling between two fundamentally incompatible people can cause such grief that they are better apart. The expressions of relief by those on both sides of the split in the diocese of Virginia attests to this…