Bp. Mwamba warns of “proxy wars”

From the Mail & Guardian of September 2

Trevor Mwamba, the Anglican bishop of Botswana, when asked whether more US clerics would be coming to Southern Africa to be consecrated, said, “I hope not”.

The 2004 decision by a diocese in the US to authorise the blessing of same-sex relationships gave rise to the Windsor Commission, which recommended that “bishops … stop interfering in provinces and dioceses other than their own”.

Mwamba described the decisions by Nzimba [Archbishop of Kenya] and others to consecrate clergymen from the US [as bishops in the US] as “highly regrettable” as it violated the “ancient principle of provincial autonomy by intervening in dioceses and provinces other than their own”.

Mwamba likened such actions to “pouring fuel on a fire” and called for “space to cool down”. He urged African bishops to “be careful they are not dragged into fighting proxy wars” and said they should focus on “playing a reconciliatory” role in the church.

My emphasis.

Bishop Mwamba also spoke to Ecumenical News International

Very few of us take the homosexual debate as a top priority issue because there are more pressing issues facing the African church,” Mwamba told Ecumenical News International in a telephone interview from his office in the Botswana capital Gaborone.

“Most African Anglicans want to get back to basics and concentrate on poverty, disease, injustice and the need for transparency in governments,” said the dean of the central African region, made up of churches in Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Mwambe makes this prediction

Some bishops from the global South have threatened to boycott a gathering in 2008 of the world’s Anglican bishops if their counterparts from the United States attend.

Mwamba said, however, he thought there would be “forward movement, even a breakthrough, on this issue” when leaders of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa meet in Mauritius from 2 to 5 October. “I believe that quite number of African bishops who have threatened not to attend next year’s Lambeth Conference in Canterbury may change their minds,” he said.

Bishop Mwamba has spoken before of the diversity of views in Anglican Communion in Africa.

Past Posts