Updated Friday afternoon
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Official press release issued Wednesday:
Lambeth Palace Archbishop to pay a pastoral visit to the Church of the Province of Central Africa with map:
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams is today embarking on a week-long pastoral visit to the Church in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia at the invitation of the Archbishop of the Province of Central Africa, the Rt Revd Albert Chama. During the course of the week Dr Williams will meet with bishops, clergy and parishioners to celebrate the life and ministry of the Anglican Church in the region…
British press reports:
Riazat Butt Guardian Rowan Williams seeks meeting with Robert Mugabe
…The Foreign Office, attempting to quash speculation that Williams is engaging in a form of freelance diplomacy, said that the archbishop’s visit was purely as head of the Anglican church.
A spokesman told the Guardian: “He is not a representative of the government and his proposed meeting with Mugabe in no way reflects a change of government policy.
“The archbishops of Zambia, Southern Africa and Tanzania are also part of the delegation of senior Anglican leaders visiting Zimbabwe.
“It is not for us to comment on the appropriateness of the archbishop’s visit, which is in a pastoral and not a political capacity.”
The Foreign Office said the situation of Anglicans in Zimbabwe had worsened in recent months and as head of the church, Williams’s “desire to support them is understandable”.
The UK ambassador to Harare discussed the visit with the archbishop when they met in London in July, the FCO said, adding that the two will meet again during the visit and that British officials will “continue to offer logistical support”…
Aislinn Laing Telegraph Archbishop of Canterbury to meet Mugabe amid Anglican rift
…Chad Gandiya, the Anglican-appointed Bishop of Harare, said Dr Rowan Williams was “very likely” to meet Mr Mugabe on Monday, with a time and place yet to be confirmed.
“With these things it is impossible to say for sure, but it seems that the Archbishop has been granted an audience with the president,” he said…
African press reports:
ZimOnline Williams visit for solidarity: church
…When Kunonga and former Manicaland bishop Elson Jakazi revolted against the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA), the supreme authority of the Anglican church in the region, they claimed they were doing so because the mother church supported ordination of gay priests.
However this is not true as the Anglican Church in Africa is largely conservative and has strongly opposed ordination of gay priests.
Kunonga and Gandiya were excommunicated in 2008. A staunch supporter of Mugabe, who tried to use the pulpit to defend the Zimbabwean leader’s controversial policies, Kunonga was excommunicated together with several priests and other church leaders who backed his revolt against the CPCA…
The Zimbabwean Archbishop to pay a pastoral visit to Central Africa
Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture David Coltart has ordered Mash East Provincial Education Director to produce a detailed report of school children and teachers who were evicted by ex-communicated Anglican church leader Nolbert Kunonga in Mrewa.
I have instructed the Mashonaland East Provincial Education Director to prepare a report detailing what happened to the teachers, headmasters and children. I got a very disturbing report that teachers were physically beaten up. This is very disturbing as it affects lives of school children,” said Coltart in an interview this week.
Kunonga evicted headmasters, teachers and priests for allegedly aligning themselves with the diocese of his arch-rival, Chad Gandiya.
“I have said time and again that politics should stay out of schools. What is happening in the Anglican Church is not religious – it is politics,” Coltart said.
Church of England Newspaper George Conger Dr. Kunonga attacks Canterbury on eve of Zimbabwe visit
Church Times Williams to confront Kunonga
New York Times Anglican Leader to Seek Meeting With Mugabe
Christian Today Archbishop hopes to meet Mugabe in Zimbabwe
…Dr Rowan Williams arrived in Malawi on Thursday afternoon, where he was greeted by Archbishop Albert Chama and Bishop James Tengatenga.
His visit coincides with a service of celebration to mark the 150th anniversary of the Anglican Church in Malawi. His first stop in the country was the shrine of Bishop Charles Mackenzie in St Paul’s Cathedral, Blantyre. The Scot was the first missionary bishop in Nyasaland – today’s Malawi.
Speaking to the media shortly after his arrival, Dr Williams said: “The Church today in this country still plays a deeply significant part in community development, in education, in grassroots agricultural development, in the empowerment of women and young people – I am here to give thanks to God, with you, for all that work.
“I am here to pray with you for a Church that will continue responding to God’s call in that way in the future, and to learn from what you do as I go around and visit various projects in different parts of the country.”
The worldwide spiritual leader of the Anglican church Dr. Rowan Williams said on Thursday he will raise the issue of his church’s harassment and persecution in Zimbabwe with Pres Robert Mugabe.
“My purpose of the visit is not directly political but pastoral, but of course I should be raising with President Mugabe issues on harassment and persecution of our churches in Zimbabwe,” the Archbishop of Canterbury told a news conference when he arrived in Malawi at the start of a three-nation pastoral visit.
“What difference that will make, I don’t know, but I want to raise those issues on the table,” he added…