The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and Archbishop Bernard Malango, Archbishop of Central Africa, held a meeting on 7 March with Bishop Nolbert Kunonga, Anglican Bishop of Harare. The meeting took place in South Africa.
As Pat Ashworth reports in the Church Times this week (not yet on the web):
Bishop Kunonga has been widely criticised as a Mugabe apologist. A case against him involving a set of serious charges is still pending. His superior, Archbishop Malango, has in turn been criticised for the lack of progress in the case, and for not reprimanding Bishop Kunonga. In the mean time, Anglican leadership in Zimbabwe during the country’s economic and political upheaval has been widely seen as compromised.
“We are grateful for the chance to meet face to face and discuss the role of the church in Zimbabwe and the wider region in working towards the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals.
“We shared our deep concerns with the Bishop of Harare about the situation in Zimbabwe, affirming those places where Anglican ministries are bearing fruit and the church is growing, but also expressing the widespread concerns in the global church and in the international community about the deteriorating economic life of Zimbabwe and issues of human rights and peaceful non-partisan protest.
“We encouraged the development of an independent voice for the church in response to these challenges. All ministers of the gospel must be free to serve and to speak for the needs of those most deprived and disadvantaged.
“We want to find new channels of communication and to facilitate regional conversations about issues of development and justice, including the impact of sanctions, so that Anglicans may work together more effectively with and for the poor whom they serve in Christ’s name.”
Here is some press coverage of the event:
And a comprehensive backfile on Nolbert Kunonga can be found at Magic Statistics, see Rowan Williams “shares concerns” with renegade Zimbabwean bishop.
Also, see African church leaders urged to take action by Trevor Grundy.