Harvesting intolerance

Stephen Bates has writen a commentary on the Kigali statement on the Guardian’s blog.

An excerpt:

“The Kigali statement was rich in self-righteousness and has rightly been picked apart as schismatic in an editorial in last Friday’s Church Times. It indeed mentioned the Rwanda genocide of 12 years ago, though without reflecting that it was the result of inter-tribal intolerance and bigotry, and then went on to expatiate at length about homosexuality and the shortcomings of the US church.

Curiously, the primates found no time whatever to address shortcomings much nearer to home, such as the corruption of the Anglican church in Central Africa and particularly the weird and deranged behaviour of the Bishop of Harare, charged by his own congregation with expropriating land, embezzling funds and, most extraordinary of all, inciting the murder of his opponents. Recently, the good bishop even ordered all churches within his diocese to devote their Sunday offerings to buying him and his wife 33rd wedding anniversary presents, rather than devoting their hard-earned money to more worthwhile and, one might have thought, urgent causes. But there we are, everyday life in the ever-so righteous Anglican church in Africa.

They must hope that even the most fervent or purblind conservative evangelicals in the rest of the world will ignore or overlook such minor peccadilloes in their pursuit of the much greater wickedness of those members of the church who wish to bless the long-term, monogamous and loving commitment of same-sex couples who, in the face of all provocation, actually wish to remain members of such an institutionally homophobic church as the Anglican communion has become.

There aren’t any Church of England conservatives flying out, I notice, to raise their voices against the outrageous actions of the Rt Rev Dr Nolbert Kunonga of Harare, or to offer their outspoken support to his poor, benighted parishioners. Or to call for him to be thrown out of the church like the Americans and Canadians. It is all much too difficult and much less agreeable than accepting free trips to be feted by the conservative dissidents of the US Episcopal church.”

The piece also mentions a sermon delivered yesterday at Southwark Cathedral by Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, which you can find here.

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