Thinking Anglicans

Southern African bishops respond to Malawi

The Bishops of the Church of Southern Africa have responded to the recent events in Malawi.

We, the Bishops of the Anglican Church in Southern Africa call upon the Government of South Africa to seek the release of Stephen Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, who were recently sentenced in Malawi to 14 years imprisonment with hard labour, after they shared in a traditional ceremony of engagement.

As we have previously stated, though there is a breadth of theological views among us on matters of human sexuality, we are united in opposing the criminalisation of homosexual people. We see the sentence that has been handed down to these two individuals as a gross violation of human rights and we therefore strongly condemn such sentences and behaviour towards other human beings. We emphasize the teachings of the Scriptures that all human beings are created in the image of God and therefore must be treated with respect and accorded human dignity…

Read the full text of their statement.

See also their earlier statement about Uganda.

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Göran Koch-SwahneCaelius SpinatorFather Ron SmithChris Smithjohn Recent comment authors
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JPM
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JPM

It’s a pity that Rowan Williams has not commented on this, but apparently he is too busy thinking of new ways to meddle in TEC (according to Tom Wright) to be bothered with such inconsequential matters as justice and mercy.

Davis d'Ambly
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Davis d'Ambly

This is the voice of reason that one would have hoped might come from Lambeth.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

The Bishops have taken time off to write three prayers for the Football World Cup but don’t seem to be able to find the time, or indeed the guts, to say anything at all about the outrageous persecution of GLBT people in Africa.

john
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john

Well,

I do think this is a terrific statement to which all Anglicans, of whatever hue, should be able to assent.

Chris Smith
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Chris Smith

If Rowan Williams moves in the direction of EXCLUDING the American Episcopal Church and The Anglican Church of Canada from future conferences and gatherings, he should be called to task and shamed for his actions and his words. The problem of late seems to be his LACK of words on important issues such as this. If the Anglican Bishops of South Africa can speak out about this injustice it is shameful that Rowan Williams remains silent. I agree with JPN in this thread, that Rowan Williams has been trying to “meddle” in the affairs of the Episcopal Church in America.… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“In their May 26 statement, the bishops concluded that “it is immoral to permit or support oppression of, or discrimination against, people on the grounds of their sexual orientation, and contrary to the teaching of the gospel; particularly Jesus’ command that we should love one another as he has loved us, without distinction (John 13:34-35). We commit ourselves to teach, preach and act against any laws that undermine human dignity and oppress any and all minorities, even as we call for Christians and all people to uphold the standards of holiness of life.” – Matthew Davies – ENS – What… Read more »

Caelius Spinator
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Caelius Spinator

I love the Province of Southern Africa dearly. There seems to be more compassion and common sense in their episcopate than the rest of the Communion put together.

Göran Koch-Swahne
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At long last! One wonders what is so difficult with the requirements of the Gospel?