As the Provincial Secretary of the Church of the Province of Central Africa I would like to set the record straight in regard to the article that appeared in The Herald newspaper of September 10th 2007 entitled "Homosexuality breaks up Anglican Province":
I should first of all state that the Bishops of the Church of the Province of Central Africa at their recent Episcopal and Provincial Synod Meetings resolved to make it known to all and sundry that the Province stands by its previous statements, Lambeth Conference 1998 Resolution 1.10, which commends to the Church the subsection report on human sexuality which whilst rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture, calls on our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals, violence within marriage and any trivialization and commercialization of sex; the Lambeth Resolution further states that it does not advise the legitimizing or blessing of same sex union nor ordaining those in same gender union; the Resolution also commits the Church to listen to the experience of homosexual persons to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation are full members of the Body of Christ.
The Bishops also in the same vain reaffirmed the Church of the Province of Central Africa's commitment to the "Windsor Process" and in this regard stated categorically that it did not want to be pulled into any one side of the divide and is committed to the listening process, dialogue and reconciliation.
Now turning specifically to The Herald's article I set the record straight as follows:
1.. Contrary to The Herald's report that the Anglican Province of Central Africa broke up on the 9th September 2007, the fact is the Church of the Province of Central Africa remains strongly intact.
2.. Contrary to The Herald's report that the Diocese of Manicaland along with one other Zimbabwean diocese expressed its intention to quit the Province no such intention was expressed at the Synod.
3.. Contrary to The Herald's report that according to the standing orders of the Province of Central Africa once one diocese withdraws the Province becomes null and void and would have to be reconstituted under a new name and structure, no such standing order exists. However should there be any intention of the Province being dissolved such an act according to the Constitution and Canons of the Church of the Province of Central Africa, would require the due legal process and procedures being followed which among other things would involve a proposed amendment which would have to be provisionally approved by the Provincial Synod having been approved by the Synod of each Diocese in the Province, and confirmed by the Provincial Synod by a two-thirds majority of those present.
4.. Contrary to The Herald's report of the existence of a homosexual lobby led by the Bishop of Botswana, Trevor Musonda Mwamba, the Rt. Rev. Dr. James Tengatenga of Southern Malawi and two Zimbabwean Bishops, the fact of the matter is that there is no known homosexual lobby in the Church of the Province of Central Africa and any insinuations of there being such a lobby
is highly regrettable and libellous.
5.. Contrary to The Herald's report of the existence of an anti-gay lobby led by Bishop Norbert Kunonga of Harare, the fact of the matter is that there is no known anti-gay lobby in the Church of the Province of Central Africa.
6.. Contrary to The Herald's report that in their addresses, The Rev. Emmanuel Sserwadda of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America and the Rt. Rev. Michael Doe, General Secretary of United Society for the Propagation of the
Gospel (USPG), had implored the Synod to drop the issue of homosexuals from the agenda in exchange for funding of Church projects, and that a day earlier the Rev. Chad Gandiya of the USPG Africa Desk had expressed similar sentiments; this is totally false. The fact of the matter is the three invited speakers to the Provincial Synod talked about the ways and means of improving and strengthening existing partnership links.
7.. It is highly regrettable that The Herald could publish such a misleading, false and pernicious article. The article falls gravely short of basic professional journalistic demands of balance, fairness and honesty.
The Revd Fr Eston Dickson Pembamoyo
Item from: The Diocese of Southern Malawi