Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Zimbabwe: Anglican bishops voice support for Mugabe

Dan Bergin
Africa's Anglican bishops issued a message on Friday expressing their support for the Zimbabwean government ­ days after the Catholic Bishops' Easter message condemning government policies and appealing for change.
According to agency reports, the Anglican pastoral letter, released ahead of this week's independence celebrations acknowledges Zimbabwe's economic crisis has "rendered the ordinary Zimbabwean unable to make ends meet."
But the 14 Anglican bishops of the central African Episcopal Synod blame the worsening plight of poor Zimbabweans largely on Western economic sanctions. Foreign investment and loans to the country have dried up after six years of political and economic turmoil following the often-violent seizures of thousands of white-owned farms that began in 2000.
Western governments say they have only imposed targeted sanctions on Zimbabwean assets abroad and travel restrictions which affect rulers and policymakers.
Zimbabwe's nine Catholic bishops marked Easter with an unprecedented call on Mugabe to retire. It warned that the current situation is reaching meltdown and the country could face a mass violent revolt.
The Catholic Bishops' pastoral letter accused the ruling elite of racism and corruption and fomenting lawlessness and violence to cling to power and wealth, factors they said led to the economic meltdown. The letter decried state-orchestrated intimidation, beatings and torture
The Anglican Church has been traditionally muted in its criticism of the government, with its leaders generally toeing the ruling party line.
Harare's bishop Nolbert Kunonga, was one of the signatories of the Anglican letter. Frequently praised in the state media for his "progressive sentiment." Kunonga has denounced some black clergy as "Uncle Toms" and puppets of whites and Britain and the United States for their criticism of Mugabe.


Anonymous said...

Well they would, wouldn't they?

Mac McLernon said...

Slightly off message, but check out the letter from ICEL which Fr Tim Finigan received on the new translation and copyright!

Henry said...

But who amongst us (laity) could actually put together an argument against the idea that "the plight of Zimbabwe is due to Western sanctions"?

In my experience of talking to Catholics over the years, we (laity) are on the whole deeply ignorant of economic processes and have nothing to say in the face of such comments - often, the best we can manage is sub-Marxist nonsense. We are also profoundly ignorant of Catholic Social Teaching, for what it is worth (unfortunately limited). So we leave the door open to the Left, or ourselves come up with ridiculous policies like the ones that are crippling the Polish economy at the moment, where you would expect Catholic politicians to be innovative and showing the way forward.

Fr Pancras Cluny said...

Makes you proud to be a Catholic.
On as different tack, many thanks Father for your excellent blog and your splendid choice of sausage wine when last we met....

fr from up north said...

never mind sub marxist nonsense,blair and bush have destroyed any so called credibility the west should have;and then bear in mind the record of the u.k on abortion,who are we to call Mugabe !!despicable as i may find what is going on in zimbabwe does it match the slaughter of the innocents here?