A House Divided

There is a report that the The Church of the Province of Central Africa has voted to dissolve. The Province contains the nations of Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. A report in the Harrare Herald, a paper controlled by the government of Zimbabwe, said that at the meeting of the Provincial Synod in Malawi, three of the five dioceses in Zimbabwe voted to disassociate from the other dioceses, with whom they disagreed in the current Anglican controversies over sexuality and the nature of the Anglican Communion. The article went on to criticize Archbishop Malango: “[He] failed to save the situation after he botched condemning the homosexual lobby….”

The report names Harrare and Manicaland plus one other unnamed diocese as the three who have pulled out. According the paper, the constituting document of the province states that if one diocese breaks with the Province, the entire province is dissolved and must reorganize.

Earlier news reports said that there were fears that the Central Africa province would break into three national provinces of Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi, leaving Botswana, which does not qualify to be a province because it has only one diocese instead of the required four on its own.

As the Synod began on September 6th, the Bishop of Botswana, the Rt. Rev. Trevor Mwamba, Bishop of Botswana, was replaced as Provincial Dean by The Rt. Rev. Albert Chama, Bishop of Northern Zambia, because Mwamba had previously stated that the row of sexuality was distracting the Church in Africa from much more important issues such as poverty, disease, injustice and the need for transparency in governments.

Mwabe previously told the Ecumenical News Service that

Very few of us take the homosexual debate as a top priority issue because there are more pressing issues facing the African church


“Most African Anglicans want to get back to basics and concentrate on poverty, disease, injustice and the need for transparency in governments….”

Others in the Province, who have a different view of the primacy of the issue took a different stand in advance of the Provincial Synod and stated in advance that they would sever ties with any diocese they believed to be “pro-gay.”

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