Zimbabwe

Anglican leader - Mugabe must end attacks

2011-10-10 21:24

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Harare - The Archbishop of Canterbury said on Monday he asked President Robert Mugabe to end attacks on Anglicans in Zimbabwe, where a renegade bishop has forced the faithful out of their churches.

"We have asked in the clearest possible terms that the president use his powers as head of state to put an end to all unacceptable and illegal behaviour," Rowan Williams said after a two-hour meeting with Mugabe.

"Today we were able to present President Mugabe with a dossier compiled by bishops in Zimbabwe which gives a full account of the abuses to which our people and our church have been subject," he said.

"It was a very candid meeting, disagreements were expressed clearly, but I think in a peaceful manner."

"As representatives of the Anglican Communion and with the support of ecumenical friends worldwide, we strongly and unequivocally support the efforts of ordinary Anglicans to worship in peace and to minister to the spiritual and material needs of their communities."

Excommunicated bishop Nolbert Kunonga has seized all of the Anglican Church's property in Harare and laid claim to 3 800 properties in Zimbabwe and neighbouring countries.

Kunonga, who has praised Catholic Mugabe as a "true son of God", has backed the president's violent land reform programme and endorsed his condemnation of homosexuality.

Kunonga was excommunicated from the Anglican Church over disagreements about the church's stance toward gays.

But Williams said the debate over homosexuality was "a distracting tactic to take people's attention away from the real issues".

"The church of the province of central Africa shares the general Anglican Communion position on homosexuality," he said.

"That is, it is not allowed, the same-sex blessings. That it is not encouraged, the ordination of people in homosexual partnerships. And that is common ground."

- AFP

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  nolbert kunonga  |  rowan williams  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  religion
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