From the pro-Government Herald
THE Anglican Province of Zimbabwe yesterday ordained 33 bishops and deacons to serve in its dioceses.
The province is made up of dioceses that broke from the Church of the
Province of Central Africa early this year following disagreements over
Of those ordained, 23 were serving deacons with the remainder being new
Archbishop Nolbert Kunonga said the deacons and bishops should
truthfully serve the province and not tolerate homosexuality within the church.
"This is confirmation that we are going ahead with the building of the
new province after breaking away from the Province of Central Africa.
"As the Anglican Province of Zimbabwe, we stand guided by the
scriptures and will not sympathise with homosexuals.
On the property wrangle between his followers and those led by Retired
Bishop Sebastian Bakare, Archbishop Kunonga said they were waiting for the
determination of the Supreme Court following an appeal against a High Court
order instructing them to share church property.
The Anglican Province of
Zimbabwe is made up of the dioceses of Harare, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland
West, Mashonaland Central and Chitungwiza.
I suppose anyone can call themselves Archbishop if they want. This step is an attempt to secure the future of Kunonga's church by broadening and reinforcing its leadership. To the rest of the world, fed on the problems of the regime, this suggests that the view from within Zanu-PF is still optimistic, at least in some quarters.
But I speculate (having no evidence) that the quality of leadership may be open to question and I am confident that all are aligned with the regime.
What is interesting is the stress being put on homosexuality. It was always there in the rhetoric but now it seems, at least in this Herald report, to stand alone.
The predictable result will be that Konunga's church will collapse when the regime collapses. Weak leadership, no formal relationship with the wider Anglican Church, reliance on political support that will, one day, be held against them, and excessive reliance on one point of difference with the rest of the community, all suggest a very fragile structure.
And the alternative is a strong if beleaguered continuing Anglican Church led by Bishop Bakare, a man of considerable moral stature. As I have said before I long for and I fear what will happen when Zanu-PF lose power. I guess and hope that the experience and enmity Bishop Bakare has gained with the regime in power will be sufficient for his continued moral leadership when they lose it. He will need all the prayers possible and all the help that's practical.