Thinking Anglicans

Zimbabwe: Anglican bishops support Mugabe

Updated yet again Sunday

The bishops of the Province of Central Africa have issued a Pastoral Letter. The text of the letter can be read here.

This news has been reported widely, see Associated Press African Anglican Bishops Support Mugabe and the Angola Press African Anglican bishops support Mugabe.

Magic Statistics has plenty of background links in Anglican bishops support Mugabe after Catholics call for his departure.

Here is what the Roman Catholic bishops said: Repent And Listen to the Cry of Citizens as reported in the Zimbabwe Independent.

The pro-Mugabe Herald in Zimbabwe reports it this way: Anglican Bishops Support Mugabe.

Update
Episcopal News Service has republished this report from Ecumenical News International
ZIMBABWE: Anglican bishops want sanctions on country’s ruling elite lifted

Thursday
Some further reports related to this:
The Zimbabwean Trevor Grundy Not in our name say Anglicans
Anglican Mainstream The Director of Zimbabwe Christian Alliance speaks of their role in Zimbabwe

Friday
There is a report by Pat Ashworth in the Church Times Anglican statement not meant to be pro-Mugabe, says bishop

…light has since been thrown on its context by a respected signatory, the Bishop of Botswana, the Rt Revd Trevor Mwamba, and by the Bishop of Croydon, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, who returned on Wednesday from a diocesan visit to Zimbabwe.

… Bishop Mwamba, who gave a keynote address to senior judges and others at the Ecclesiastical Law Society Conference in Liverpool earlier this year (News, 2 February), said on Tuesday that the letter had to be seen in the context of the Anglican situation in Zimbabwe. The spirit in which it had been sent was to support the progressive forces and the need for change, and was not in any way meant to be pro-Mugabe, he said.

Choosing his words carefully, the Bishop commented: “As you can imagine, in Zimbabwe there are divisions within the Church itself, and so there was a need to wean certain hearts and minds to be able to put forward a statement all the bishops could subscribe to.

“In that sense, yes, it does not appear as sharp as the pastoral letter from the Catholic bishops. It took a middle-of-the-road pastoral approach. Nevertheless, the sting is there in calling for drastic change, for the government to be called upon to create a conducive environment for that, and for the Church to stand forward and speak sharply in the context of its calling and prophetic ministry.” The Bishop described it as “the beginning of a long journey of bishops moving together — very gently, for need of carrying certain of our friends along”…

Sunday
Magic Statistics has further detailed comment at Bishop Mwamba says Anglican statement not pro-Mugabe.

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JCF
Guest
JCF

Well, that’s disgraceful.

Lord have mercy!

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

If Christ hadn’t been resurrected he’d turn in his grave!

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

The anglican bishops are ceasing to surprise me.

Sowing and reaping ………

But because of my own Evangelical background, I suppose, the failings of Evangelicals cut deepest and hurt most somehow.

I think i am a recovering fundamentalist and doubt full recovery from the pain will become possible ……

Thomas+
Guest

It seems that they are so concerned about sexuality that they can’t deal with such mundane things as justice and mercy.

Brian
Guest

The press reports exagerate. I wouldn’t read the bishops letter as entirely supportive of Mugabe’s disgraceful regime, although it is critical of the sanctions. I doubt that the Bishops from Zambia, Botswana and Malawi would have signed a letter directly supporting Mugabe. “We call upon the government of Zimbabwe to provide a framework for peace by creating a conducive environment for dialogue and tolerance.” “As Bishops we denounce all forms of violence perpetrated by whatever source as a means of resolving conflict. As this is a degradation of those created in the image of God. We want to make it… Read more »

Deacon Charlie Perrin
Guest
Deacon Charlie Perrin

They’d probably think differently if Mugabe was gay.

JPM
Guest
JPM

Unfortunately, this is the sort of thing we have come to expect from the so-called “Global South.” If it doesn’t involve penises, vaginas, or –saints preserve us!– anuses, then it’s not a moral issue, apparently.

What an absolute, unspeakable disgrace.

On the other hand, the Roman Catholics of Zimbabwe have given the world a heroic example of what it is to speak truth to power. Thank God for them.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

This is one of those situations where duckshoving really comes into play. We’re being cruel because of harsh sanctions claims one group. Another group claims to put in place sanctions because of cruelty to the peoples. The mistreatment of Zimbabweans is to be deplored (and any aliens in their midst). It does also raise the question of sanctions. My observations are that sanctions are becoming a failed tool and should probably be considered an act of war. They are equivalent to laying seige to a walled city and hoping to starve the people into submission. The people hurt by sanctions… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

What a revolting development this is…but, it figures as it’s the same clan of mischiefmaking renegade Anglican bishops who continously inspire ignorance, outcasting, corruption of TRUTH/SOCIETY and preach hate against fellow Christians.

Davis d'Ambly
Guest
Davis d'Ambly

I suppose it’s like the Russian patriarch supporting Stalin. The Church continues to break the hearts of the faithful.

Dennis
Guest

More leadership from the “Global South” Anglican bishops.

Ralph Asik
Guest
Ralph Asik

Well, they have full stomach and are well fed. What else do they care for. They are eating right out of the palm of Mugabe. God have mercy!

Weiwen Ng
Guest

It looks like the people who signed this are all Zimbabwean bishops. To take them as representative of all Global South Anglicans. Njongonkulu Ndungane is a Global South Anglican. So is Desmond Tutu. So is Mdimi Mhogolo. So am I, sort of … at least until Sep 30 (I am Episcopalian, but was born in Singapore). I have to say, read as is, the requests made by the 14 bishops do seem reasonable. we all do know that Kunonga is a crook with a purple shirt, and that Malango has supported him. But that’s all we know. The US has… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

How many have posted having just read the spin on the statement and not the statement itself? A fair reading does not at all lead to seeing this statement as support for Mugabe. Yes, it says sanctions hit the poor – which they do in part. Maybe the bishops are just being fair in their judgment, unlike some here? Read their statement and you will see condemnation of violence, including government violence, and a clear statement that sanctions have “exacerbated” and not created Zim’s probs. Having said that, there is not enough courageous taking on of corrupt leaders – this… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

What Brian highlights here is the speaking-out-of-both-sides-of-the-mouth-in-a-pretence-to-be-middle-ground so carachteristic of the Anglican Communion of late.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Economic sanctions have never been an “efficient” weapons. Simply put, it is too blunt a method to work. It does not even always cause shortages…

But some will get rich.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

This comment at Stand Firm by the man behind Magic Statistics may be helpful:
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/2852/#47539

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

NP,
I have read the statement. And I note that the very first point made after description of the crisis is:
“We therefore call upon the Western countries to lift the economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe. We further call upon the British and American governments to honour their obligation of paying compensation to the white farmers.”

While I agree that the statement also calls on Mugabe to create the conditions for “dialogue and tolerance”, that sounds as though Mugabe might even have a point that could be defended in a tolerant discussion.

cryptogram
Guest
cryptogram

I rather agree with NP (let Solemn Te Deums be sung amid clouds of incense in all Church Society churches). The pastoral letter is hardly the ringing endorsement of all Mugabe’s policies that the headline writers would have us believe. That said, it lacks the moral courage of the RC bishops, and is a pretty miserable effort. But who would expect anything else from Kunonga and Malango?

It is interesting to note how coloured it is by cultural and political presuppositions. I thought only liberal westerners allowed such things to intrude.

JPM
Guest
JPM

NP, I read the statement, and it is a disgrace, especially when compared to what Zimbabwe’s RCs have had to say.

Raspberry Rabbit
Guest

Trying to steer a middle course and say ‘just enough’ to both sides they’ve ended up saying very little, have been misrepresented by everybody, and have missed out on prophetic opportunity. Who do they think they are, the Archbishop of Canterbury?

RR

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

NP, I agree, it IS a typically Anglican statement (Care to come to the Te Deum with me and Cryptogram?) it says something that could be seen as critical of the government, but not enough to get them in trouble with the government, and doesn’t really blame the government for anything, actually plays the race card in implying that it is Western (white, colonialist) sanctions that have caused the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe (odd they didn’t say the same about sanctions in Apartheid era South Africa) and makes sure their well appointed Erastian bummies are covered. Typically Anglican.… Read more »

Francisco de Assis da Silva
Guest

I’m so sad about that weakness and submission under a dictator. I commented on the Bishops’ Letter in my blog; http://www.xicoassis.blogspot.com

Revd. Canon Francisco de Assis da Silva
Provincial Secretary of Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil

NP
Guest
NP

WOW – TA is bringing the nasty NP, the nice Ford and the very pleasant Cryto together……maybe this dialogue, listening stuff has something to it after all!

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“maybe this dialogue, listening stuff has something to it after all!”
Maybe you’ll give it a try! (Sorry. I’ve been pretty nasty all day, NP, take this as a bit of gentle ribbing, not in the tone of previous posts). And we’ll meet at the Te Deum. I’m envisioning two thurifers doing Queen Annes at the altar rail. Bring your inhaler!

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Goran wrote “Economic sanctions have never been an “efficient” weapons. Simply put, it is too blunt a method to work. It does not even always cause shortages… But some will get rich.” That is the conundrum that has been perplexing me for some time now. If there are embargoes, the powerful within the city/nation still get access to food and medicines. They get it by diverting it from the already impoverished, thus exacerbating their physical and metaphysical wellbeing. The other issue that I have not seen a lot of discussion about, but really needs to happen, is how globalisation has… Read more »

Weiwen
Guest

the 14 bishops’ is, indeed, very mild compared to what the RC bishops have said. however, I hate to agree with NP, but there are people here who read the statement without really reading the statement. you all know who you are. there are some African newspapers who have spun this as outright support for Mugabe. I think that’s unscrupulous. the Associated Press article I first read (before I read the statement) also reported that the statement was in support of Mugabe. we rightly criticized two Evangelical Anglican bishops for attacking Jeffrey John over his reported comments on the Resurrection… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

I am bringing my guitar, Ford!

Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

Queen Annes

Is that what we used to call Spanish Eights???

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Queen Annes Is that what we used to call Spanish Eights??? Likely. I’ve never seen it done, and the prospect of hot charcoal and resin swinging around in a figure 8 makes me ever so nervous, but, liturgy is supposed to engage the whole created being, including one’s adrenals, I assume. And bring along your guitar, NP, but none of that modern guff. If we’re going to sing “your” kind of hymns, can they be Sanky and Fannie Crosbie? Dodgy theology, but oh my what a lovely sing! (Totters off singing “There’s power in the Blood, power in the Blood”.)… Read more »

gyrovague
Guest
gyrovague

When I was an RC, back in the days when we still took incense seriously, we used to attribute such thuriferistic ballistics to the Ethiopians, who wowed Vatican II with their liturgies in St. Peter’s.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

Congratulations NP and Ford !

ford elms
Guest
ford elms

“the Ethiopians”
Aren’t their Masses 7 hours long or something?

cryptogram
Guest
cryptogram

Today’s item in the Times about the apparent poisoning of Fr Rodney Hunter in Malawi is disturbing. Ruth Gledhill (or the sub-editor) contrives to suggest a connection to the “liberal” and “gay” agenda, though without much evidence except that Rodney had been against the election of an English priest as bishop in Lake Malawi diocese. The province of Central Afrtica does seem to be in a mess. Maybe Abp Malango should spend less time on the perceived iniquities of TEC and more on those of a province where an inculturation of a different and more dangerous kind seems to have… Read more »

Gerry Lynch
Guest

Cheryl – I have to correct you on a point of fact. The European Union sanctions (and as I understand it the US sanctions as well) target a select list of about 30 top ZANU-PF officials, preventing them from travelling to the EU or USA and preventing them from moving the proceeds of their pillage out of the country. They are not general economic sanctions. They do not impact on the majority of Zimbabweans. At a time when thousands of Zimbabweans, white and black, are fleeing to the UK every year as a result of their government’s banditry, I think… Read more »

George, Oxford
Guest
George, Oxford

The Mugabe government has publicised the letter as an endorsement, and follows the line of Bishop Malango, one of Mugabe’s staunchest supporters. However framed, it turns a blind eye to the appalling suffering inflicted by one of Africa’s most bigoted and violent leaders.

One of the signatories to this letter is Rt Rev Trevor Mwamba, who is taking Mass as a guest of honour at Keble College, Oxford, on 3 June. I suggest all those in the area with opinions on Zimbabwe try to attend and make your views known.