Posted by: Titus Presler | August 8, 2009

Primates clarified Anglican stance on Zimbabwean episcopate

As the conflict within Zimbabwean Anglicanism continues about the status of two bishops whom the Church of the Province of Central Africa declared are no longer bishops of the province, it is helpful to be reminded that the Anglican Communion has taken a clear stand on the situation.

On 3 February 2009, the Primates of the Anglican Communion, meeting in Alexandria, Egypt, heard reports on the political and ecclesial situation in Zimbabwe and issued a lengthy statement, most of which was devoted to calling for an end to government repression and for proper care for the humanitarian needs of the country’s people.

Toward the end of the statement the Primates spoke clearly about the status of the two bishops in question:

“As representatives of the Anglican Communion, we reiterate that we do not recognise the status of Bishop Nolbert Kunonga and Bishop Elson Jakazi as bishops within the Anglican Communion, and call for the full restoration of Anglican property within Zimbabwe to the Church of the Province of Central Africa.”

This statement was consistent with the fact that neither Bp. Kunonga nor Bp. Jakazi was invited to the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference of Bishops, held in July-August 2008, for they were regarded as no longer having jurisdiction in any diocese.  Instead, the bishops appointed by the province to be caretaker bishops were invited and attended Lambeth, Bp. Sebastian Bakare in the case of Harare Diocese and Bp. Peter Hatendi in the case of Manicaland Diocese.  It was in the second half of 2007 that Bishops Kunonga and Jakazi sought to withdraw their respective dioceses from the province, which responded by accepting their actions as resignations and appointing caretaker bishops for the dioceses.

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Responses

  1. No matter how long the night is, the day is sure to come. The chilrdren of Israel meandered for 40 years in the desert and finally reached the promised land. My prayer is that there will be day that Kunonga and Jakazi will finally leave and allow the work of God to continue. They have surely forsaken the way.


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