Anglican Central African Province
ANGLICAN-INFORMATION updated news regarding the impasse over elections for a new bishop in Upper Shire diocese, previously the diocese of former Archbishop Bernard Malango.
Readers will recall that diocesan representatives had voted unanimously against the House of Bishops favoured candidate Alinafe Kalemba, Dean of the new Anglican Theological College in Zomba. In an embarrassing confrontation with clergy Bishop James Tengatenga of Southern Malawi had tried to publicly humiliate a priest (who was then suspended from duties simply for objecting to the bishops’ choice) Tenagtenga had also earlier come out with the surprising undemocratic and racist ‘if you elect a white bishop I shall resign’ public comment.
The case was the taken to Court as clergy plaintiffs tried to stop the bishops forcing Kalemba on the diocese, dismissed on a technicality and subsequently allowed as an upcoming High Court case. All of this saga can be followed from 16th February onwards on our website – details below.
Diocesan Standing Committee Threats of excommunication
Last week the Diocese of Upper Shire Standing Committee met, in the absence of any bishops as they are at the Lambeth Conference.
There was apparently a mood for reconciliation and a desire on the part of the people for indaba. Instead it has been reported to us that the Chancellor Justice James Kalaile chairing the meeting produced ‘a lot of intimidating remarks’ culminating in ‘ushering the words of Excommunication to the plaintiffs and all who support the High Court injunction.’
ANGLICAN-INFORMATION observes that it is now quite easy to be excommunicated in the Province of Central Africa, either for serious cause as in the case of ‘Archbishop’ Nolbert Kunonga, formerly of Harare or simply for wanting fair elections and proper procedures.
The remaining Central African bishops will begin to return from the Lambeth Conference next week – it is our prayer that their return maintains the same spirit of reconciliation and holiness that remarkably the Archbishop of Canterbury seems to have achieved against all odds at Lambeth 2008 where even apparently irreconcilable differences can be faced up to in friendship.If that is the case then perhaps finally the many problems of the Central African Province can be resolved by means other than habitual in-fighting and excommunication.