Who will get to be the next Archbishop of Central Africa?
ANGLICAN-INFORMATION thanks those readers who have written in wondering what has happened to our newscasts. Some of you had feared that we had closed down – an answer to prayer for some of the provincial bishops perhaps!
The truth is simpler, not much has been going on in the Central African Province recently. However, we do now have some news updates as follows:
Zambia and Botswana: Remain two countries of the four in the Province where ecclesiastical matters are proceeding normally.
However, in: -
Zimbabwe: A newly deteriorating political situation continues to frustrate progress in the Anglican Church most particularly in the Diocese of Harare. Self-proclaimed ‘Archbishop of Zimbabwe’ and one time Unification Church (Moonie) lecturer Nolbert Kunonga is proving as obdurate as his friend and mentor President Robert Mugabe. Prayers please, for Dr Chad Gandiya the new Bishop of Harare who is deliberately playing a lower key role than his immediate predecessor Bishop Sebastian Bakare. This does not make Bishop Gandiya’s task any easier or less dangerous.
Malawi: After Zimbabwe the most damaged part of the Province, caused almost entirely by the actions of the provincial bishops and their predilection for ‘command style’ management riding roughshod over the will and needs of the people.
Diocese of Upper Shire: There has been a surprise development where the Anglican Communion’s youngest bishop Brighton Malasa was eventually consecrated earlier this year. The original court injunction brought by three priests against Malasa’s selection by the provincial bishops, which had been lifted, has now been allowed on appeal.
This presents an interesting conundrum. If the case is pursued and is successful Malasa, although remaining a bishop, would probably have his tenure of the diocese nullified as being in contempt of a civil court. Opinion is divided in the diocese whether the court case should be continued or not. We will report on developments.
Diocese of Lake Malawi: Acting Dean Albert Chama is quoted as saying recently “I am prepared to leave the Diocese of Lake Malawi without a bishop for twenty years if I have to” this sounds like and has been taken as a threat.
Nevertheless, the provincial bishops have asked the High Court in Lilongwe to call for an ‘inter-party hearing’ on Monday 9th November in order to try and “talk the laity out” of their objections to the Venerable Francis Kaulanda’s confirmation as Bishop of Lake Malawi. If this were to be successful and the lay-called court injunction were to be lifted, Kaulanda and Northern Malawi provincial bishops’ candidate Leslie Mtekateka would be confirmed at a Court of Confirmation to be held by the provincial bishops on Saturday 14th November.
The next Archbishop of Central Africa: If acting Dean Albert Chama is eventually able to overcome resistance to his episcopal choices and all vacancies are filled the next critical stage for the Province of Central Africa will be the ‘election’of a new Archbishop. As in African ecclesiastical politics the Archbishop has much more direct power than his counterparts in the Anglican Communion whoever succeeds the previous regime of Archbishop Bernard Malango will have the opportunity to pull the Province out of its current malaise or push it in ever deeper.
We will be reporting comparatively on the potential frontrunners in a future edition.
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