Friday, June 3, 2011

When will Benedict XVI excommunicate Mugabe?

Now, here would be a real fruit of ARCIC III, Rome excommunicating Mugabe, Dictator of Zimbabwe, Autocrat of the Zimbabwean Anglican church. Mugabe, recall, was recently in Rome for the beatification of John Paul II. A more exemplary Catholic one cannot find than those undertaking the toil and trouble of a pilgrimage to Rome. Yet Catholicism's great theme under Benedict XVI is ecumenicism: drawing all Christians together under one vicar of Christ. In this context, ARCIC III is an act of love, in which Rome reaches out to Canterbury, in hospitality around the table of discussion.

Well, we need some love in action in Zimbabwe where Mugabe is bearing down on the Anglican church like a wolf on the fold of innocent, vulnerable lambs. Cranmer describes the problem here. Not all readers here will care for Cranmer's general conservatism in politics and Anglican faith, but perhaps on this matter of deep concern, we will agree together with him ... Were Benedict XVI to excommunicate Mugabe, ARCIC III might be seen as talk being walked. As Cranmer points out, excommunication is wielded these days by Rome for various moral crimes.


Bryden Black said...

Chad and his wife Faith are of course good friends of old; so MANY thanks for picking up this story, Peter. TNYT article is actually rather mild compared to my info ... Genocide is NOT an inaccurate term.

Father Ron Smith said...

Another question - on this day when we commemorate the 16 Boy Martyrs of Uganda - might be: "When will the Anglican Communion excommunicate the former Bishop of Harare. Kunonga, whose duplicity allows him to continue to hold on to the idea that he is still the legitimate Bishop of Harare?

Firmly, ensconced as the 'Anglican Pretender' under Mugabe's authority and protection, he is wreaking havoc in Zimbabwe under the pretence of being Anglican. He is a blot on our history in Zimbabwe.

James said...

A very good thought, Peter; thanks for this. I've also blogged about it, for whatever my small voice is worth in this matter.

Anonymous said...

Bishop Kunonga was excommunicated by the Anglican Church – the Church of teh Province of Central Africa, to be precise – in 2008: see
But then, his actions were (initially) internal to the Anglican Church. I do not know whether Robert Mugabe has offended against any rules or regulations or internal order of the Roman Catholic Church, which would give formal grounds in RC canon law for excimmunicating him. – Of course, the idea that his actions are in any way tolerable under Christian morality is absurd and indeed obscene; but morality and legality are not the same thing, even in the Church(es). – Keith-in-Finland

Pilgrim said...

I lived in Zimbabwe in the mid-90's and fell in love with the place. I have never met more gracious or hospitable people anywhere. thank you for highlighting this and I pray that the people of zimbabwe may be delivered from all the evils that bedevil them.