by Fanuel Jongwe I
“I came to Zimbabwe a few days ago with the hope of negotiating with the president the concerns facing the Anglican Church,” Williams told reporters in brief remarks as he left the meeting.
He added: “I am standing in solidarity to show those concerns this afternoon and to show His Excellency a dossier of those concerns. He (Mugabe) expressed concern and said he will speak with Kunonga.”
PRESIDENT MUGABE WITH THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY … WILLIAMS
.”He’s on top of things intellectually,” Williams commented after the discussions
THE Archbishop of Canterbury said he backed Zimbabwe’s embattled Anglicans during a two-hour meeting with President Robert Mugabe on Monday.
The Anglican Church in Zimbabwe has been divided since breakaway bishop Nolbert Kunonga was excommunicated in 2007 for allegedly inciting violence in sermons supporting Mugabe’s party. But Kunonga says he left the Anglican Church because of its position on same sex marriages.
Kunonga led demonstrations against Williams’ visit on Sunday, saying the trip to Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe was a “crusade for gays”.”Rowan Williams erred by accepting homosexuality and that has broken up the Church all over,” Kunonga said on Monday, a day after his supporters held demonstrations denouncing the Englishman.”It’s sad, they should repent, it needs Williams himself to repent. He is the one who has divided the Church.”
Williams said Kunonga’s accusations are “fictitious” and a “distracting tactic to take people’s attention from the real problem.””The Anglican Church doesn’t allow homosexuality, but places like the U.S. and Canada have a more relaxed atmosphere. But we regard homosexuals as human beings deserving of love,” Williams said.The Archbishop later met with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. He is scheduled to leave for Zambia on Tuesday.
Williams, the spiritual leader of the world’s Anglicans, used a sermon on Sunday to denounce “godless” attacks by Kunonga’s followers against the Church faithful in Zimbabwe, where they have been chased from cathedrals, schools and orphanages.”
AT MUGABE’S STATE HOUSE
THE archbishop of Canterbury has risked angering President Robert Mugabe, ahead of a crucial meeting with him, by attacking the country’s lawlessness and comparing it with the “greed of colonialists and imperalists”.
In a brave and possibly career-defining appearance at Harare’s City Sports Centre, Rowan Williams told a crowd of more than 15,000 that it was tragic that so many lived in daily fear of attack if they failed to comply “with what the powerful require of them”.
His sermon, which frequently drew applause and cheers, comes as a devastating split in Zimbabwe’s Anglican church wreaks increasing havoc on parishioners and clergy.
A power struggle between the Mugabe-supporting, excommunicated bishop of Harare, Nolbert Kunonga, and his replacement, Chad Gandiya, has resulted in Anglicans being arrested, beaten and locked out of churches. Police loyal to Mugabe have helped evict people from buildings.
Williams praised Anglicans for their “patience, generosity and endurance” in the face of “injustice and arrogance” and said they did not have to live in “terror, in bloodshed”.
He told them: “You know very well what it means to have doors locked in your faces by those who claim the name of Christians and Anglicans. You know how those who, by their greed and violence have refused the grace of God, try to silence your worship and frustrate your witness in the churches and schools and hospitals of this country.
REBEL Anglican cleric Nolbert Kunonga
nglican cleric Nolbert Kunonga claims the Archbishop of Canterbury is visiting Zimbabwe in October to “lobby for homosexuality” and “represent neo-colonialism”.
Kunonga, who was banished by the main Anglican Province of Central Africa and the worldwide Anglican Church in 2007, charged that Archbishop Rowan Williams was a “civil servant on a mission”.
He added: “Rowan William was appointed by the Queen and the Prime Minister and he is a civil servant of Britain. In a political and economic environment, the civil servant represents and symbolises with his State.
“He is a diplomat like Charles Ray (US Ambassador); he is coming to represent neo-colonialism. He is coming to lobby for homosexuality and for him it is a timely move as we are making our constitution.”
.Kunonga followers protest Williams visit
THE Anglican faction led by Bishop Nolbert Kunonga on Sunday demonstrated outside Harare’s main cathedral against a visit to Zimbabwe by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Dr Rowan Williams is visiting the country amid a bitter dispute between Kunonga and mainstream Anglican Church worshippers, and he was due to hold mass at a city stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Kunonga was excommunicated in 2007 by the main Anglican Province of Central Africa and the worldwide head of the Church. He was accused of inciting violence in sermons supporting Mugabe’s party.
But Kunonga – seen as a staunch supporter of President Robert Mugabe — insists he split from the Anglican Church because of its position on gay marriage.
Mugabe is a bitter critic of homosexuality.
However, the Anglican Communion is loosely organised without one authoritative leader such as a pope, so some individual provinces have decided on their own that they should move towards accepting same-gender unions.
The Anglican Church in Zimbabwe has been divided since Mr Kunonga’s excommunication. He has taken over the main cathedral, schools and the Church’s bank accounts.
The schism in the Church has left mainstream Anglicans without places of worship and they have experienced intimidation and alleged threats of violence.
Kunonga led the demonstrations on Sunday because he said Dr Williams’s visit to Zimbabwe is a “crusade for gays”.
“This is a demonstration against homosexuality. I told people to come and demonstrate if they wanted,” Kunonga said.
OTHER VISITS WERE AROUND THE COUNTRY…
WILLIAMS WA NOT ALLOWED TO ENTER IN HIS OWN CATHEDRAL IN HARARE
supporters belonging to ex-communicated Anglican Bishop Nolbert Kunonga refused to let in visiting Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams into the Anglican Cathedral in the city centre of this eastern Border city.Williams was on a visit to Manicaland where he met Church of the Province of Central Africa worshipers who were kicked out from worshiping in Anglican Church building because they are aligned to the Chad Gandiya faction.Williams met about 5000 worshipers at Mutare show grounds who had come to welcome him to Manicaland.Williams visited St Augustine’s Mission School which is 20 kilometres north of Mutare where Kunonga’s supporters where in hot pursuit again.
The boom gate at the mission school was locked and Williams and his entourage had to leave their cars outside the gate and force their way into the school yard. They again were not allowed into the church at St Augustines. Williams only managed to have a few photos taken outside the church and had a few prayers at the Anglican nun’s premises.