Zimbabwe: Anglican Head Admits Gay Problem

Published: October 10, 2011

Harare — PRESIDENT Mugabe met the visiting Archbishop of Canterbury and central figure in the Anglican Communion Dr Rowan Williams yesterday and criticised sections of the church for condoning homosexuality.

Sources, who attended the meeting at State House that lasted nearly an hour, said the President told Dr Williams that homosexuality was against Christianity.

"The President made it clear that homosexuality was against morals, cultural values and Christian teachings," said a source.

Dr Williams admitted at a Press conference after meeting President Mugabe that homosexuality was indeed a problem within the church.

He said not everybody accepted it, but the homosexuals "deserved dignity and respect".

"The church does not allow same sex relationships and that is common ground across the Anglicans," he said.

"On the practice of homosexuality by bishops in the US and Canada, these are provinces, which do not represent the general line."

The crisis over homosexuality deepened in the Anglican Church in 2003 when two openly gay men in England and the United States became candidates for bishop.

In the Episcopal Church USA, Gene Robinson, was elected and consecrated Bishop of New Hampshire, becoming the first gay bishop in the Anglican Communion.

Dr Williams presented a dossier to President Mugabe with allegations that some Anglicans were being persecuted by Archbishop Nolbert Kunonga.

Archbishop Kunonga left the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa over its acceptance of homosexuality and now leads the independent Province of Zimbabwe.

The sources said President Mugabe told Dr Williams that the Government and himself were not involved in the fight within the church.

He said some of the issues brought up in the dossier were never presented to him before.

President Mugabe hoped that the two parties within the church engaged each other in dialogue to resolve their differences.

"He said it would be better for everyone if they united. The President said he hoped the Anglican delegation did not come to Zimbabwe under the impression that the disharmony is the act of Government."

President Mugabe told Dr Williams that the Government had intervened by appointing Vice President John Nkomo to bring the two warring parties together.

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