Mwamba removed

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The Living Church reports,

The political disputes over The Episcopal Church’s place within the Anglican Communion have spilled over into Central Africa, leading to the replacement of the provincial dean, the Rt. Rev. Trevor Mwamba, Bishop of Botswana.

The Rt. Rev. Albert Chama, Bishop of Northern Zambia, was appointed to replace Bishop Mwamba as dean by the church’s General Synod, which began meeting on Sept. 6 in Mangochi, Malawi.

The government-backed Harare Herald reported Bishop Mwamba was “relieved of his duties” due to his “pro-gay” and pro-American lobbying, and because he misrepresented “the province’s position on the issue of homosexuals.”
...
This week’s synod will be the last for the church’s primate. Archbishop Bernard Malango turns 65 in January and is expected to retire at that time. Bishop Chama will oversee the election of a successor and will serve as acting primate.


The report in The Herald states,
Leading the gay lobby is Bishop of Botswana, the Rt Rev Trevor Musonda Mwamba, whose wings were clipped at the Episcopal Synod on Thursday where he was relieved of his duties as the Provincial Dean due to his pro-gay lobby and statements that he made misrepresenting the province’s position on the issue of homosexuals.

Rev Mwamba was replaced by Bishop Chama.

Central Africa has been in the sights of gay Western liberals over the past 18 year as Henderson, the Vicar of London’s All Saints’ Ealing, a bachelor, has been pouring tens of thousands of pound sterling into Lake Malawi in an attempt to buy himself into bishop.

Henderson was elected to the post in July 2005, and was to have been consecrated in October of that year. His consecration was, however, set aside after five Anglicans, led by Canon Rodney Hunter, from Nkhotakota objected. Canon Hunter later died in a case of suspected poisoning.

A court confirmation in November 2005 presided over by the Archbishop of Central Africa, the Most Reverend Dr Bernard Amos Malango, refused to confirm Henderson saying he was not of "sound faith"....

Several recent articles about Mwamba are collected here. Mwamba is scheduled to speak at the Modern Churchpeople's Union conference, "Saving the Soul of Anglicanism", in July.

UPDATE: AFP reports

Refering to a diocesan act, a cleric at Harare diocese told AFP that three of the four dioceses in Zimbabwe had "unanimously agreed" to sever ties with dioceses in the Central African province which were in favour of homosexuals.

The Anglican province of Central Africa comprises Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Comments (5)

A friend of mine who is familiar with this situation says outgoing Primate Bernard Malango orchestrated the election at the synod to force Mwaba out on the day before Malango was to retire, and Mwaba was to become acting primate. He suggests that Mwaba's support for the English candidate for Bishop of Lake Malawi (an election Malango voided, throwing the diocese into chaos that has not been resolved) and his willingness to challenge Malango privately on the archbishop's unlagging support for the Bishop of Harare in his collusion with the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe were costly to him.

He says Chama, the new dean is not the creature of the American right, as Malango was, so Chama may soon find himself the target of the same sort of campaign that Mwaba had to face.

The most discouraging thing tht he told me was that a piece that David Virtue wrote about Mwaba recently apparenlty helped sway votes in the election. I don't know a journalist outside of Ruth Gledhill who does anything but recoil at the notion that Virtue is a "reporter" or colleague, yet he continues to have influence.

Forgot to mention that I wish the Living Church had been clear about the fact that the government behind that "government backed" paper it cites is Robert Mugabe's. And that Malango's unwillingness to confront Mugabe was a factor in the election.

For readers interested in more on relations between African Anglicans and the Mugabe government check these links (among others)

http://www.episcopalcafe.com/daily/anglican_communion/troublesome_bishop_2.php

http://www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/anglican_communion/african_anglicans_support_mugabe.html

Mwamba's recent-ish lecture here in England can be found at
http://www.anglican.ca/news/news.php?newsItem=2007-03-26_africa.news

Our diocese has recently been pursuing companion diocese relations with Botswana precisely because Bishop Mwamba is so rational in these irrational times. I look forward to the opportunity to meet him at our diocesan convention this fall.

Recently he was expressing hope that at the coming meeting of the Conference of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) more moderate voices would be heard. I fear he will be disappointed, as much as I might rejoice if he's right and I'm wrong.

Marshall Scott

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