DIVISIONS have rocked the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) Anglican Church again amid reports that some top leaders are rallying congregants to support a split over same-sex marriages which have been sanctioned by the Church of England.
NewsDay is reliably informed that senior church officials including some bishops, are seeking support from congregants across the country to pull out of the CPCA and join the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in objection to the recent declaration by the Church of England embracing homosexuality.
According to leaked church minutes seen by NewsDay, in their motion for the 70th Synod, some leaders of the Archdiocese of Harare encouraged the congregants to support the “alignment” of the CPCA to the GAFCON, arguing that 85% of the Anglican Communion had objected permission of same-sex marriages.
“We propose that the Diocese of Harare makes a Synod resolution proposing to the provincial Synod seating in Malawi in November 2023 for the declaration of a state of impaired communion with the See of Canterbury and align the Province Of Central Africa to GAFCON (a fellowship of Confessing Anglicans) by assenting to the Jerusalem Declaration as was done by about 85% of the Anglican Communion, who have come out strongly against the unbiblical position of the Church of England, relating to the legalising (sic) and blessing of same sex marriages,” read part of the minutes.
GAFCON describes itself as a global family of authentic Anglicans standing together to retain and restore the Bible to the heart of the Anglican Communion.
NewsDay is reliably informed that other church leaders and congregants, however, felt that there was no justification to break away from the CPCA on the basis of homosexuality because the Constitution of Zimbabwe outlaws the practice.
Anglican Council of Zimbabwe chairperson and Manicaland diocesan leader Bishop Eric Ruwona confirmed that he was aware of the move by some church elders to break away from the mainstream church.
“We are very much aware of the move by some top leaders to move away from the CPCA and we will not stop them. There are four individuals that are leading that front, and we will not stop them. It’s their choice. What we will not accept is for them to force congregants to support them. I hear some have brought those proposals to church members but it is not on the ACZ agenda, I am also aware that the proposals have been rejected dismally by the congregants,” said Ruwona.
The Anglican Church split in 2008, after former Archbishop Nolbert Kunonga left the CPCA citing the same-sex marriages issue.
Kunonga lost the CPCA leadership wrangle before forming his own church.
Ruwona described the move by the four church leaders to pull away as a reincarnation of the Kunonga factionalism.
“We are very mindful of the four individuals. They have always been part of Kunonga and we are aware of their plans to revive the faction but they will not succeed.”
In the leaked proposals, the leaders of the Harare Archdiocese are also seeking to ban congregants from church information on social media platforms. But this has been viewed as an attempt to gag congregants.
“We propose that Synod considers amending the Acts of the Diocese of Harare and assigns the registrar and his team to include an Act that addresses indiscipline within parishioners at various parishes and other platforms like social media. Our plea to this Synod is that all Anglicans be held to account in case of indiscipline. This will help us guard and preserve morals, ethics and the ethos of the Anglican Church, keep and maintain good name and dignity of the same,” the minutes read.