Excommunicated Bishop Nolbert Kunonga, a loyalist of longtime ruler President Robert Mugabe, has been using the visit of Rowan Williams, The Archbishop of Canterbury, to stigmatise LGBTI persons and maintain his illegitimate control of church assets.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, told more than 15,000 mainstream Anglican worshippers gathered for mass at a city stadium that Anglican worshippers are constantly "tortured by uncertainty and risk of attack" and have endured "mindless and Godless assaults," in the southern African country.
He praised the worshippers for being "active and courageous" amid a bitter dispute between the followers of breakaway Bishop Nolbert Kunonga and mainstream Anglican church worshippers.
Kunonga, a loyalist of longtime ruler President Robert Mugabe, was excommunicated in 2007 by the main Anglican Province of Central Africa and the worldwide head of the church. He was accused of inciting violence in sermons supporting Mugabe’s party.
The Anglican Church in Zimbabwe has been divided since Kunonga’s excommunication. He has taken over the main cathedral, schools and the church’s bank accounts…
Meanwhile Sunday, Kunonga and his supporters demonstrated outside Harare’s main cathedral against Williams’ visit.
Kunonga insists he split from the Anglican church because of its position on gay marriage.
Leaders of the global Anglican Communion have condemned gay relationships as a violation of Scripture. However, the Anglican Communion is loosely organized without one authoritative leader such as a pope, so some individual provinces have decided on their own that they should move toward accepting same-gender unions.
Mugabe is a bitter critic of homosexuality.
Kunonga led the demonstrations Sunday because he said Williams’ visit to Zimbabwe is a "crusade for gays."
"This is a demonstration against homosexuality. I told people to come and demonstrate if they wanted," Kunonga said. "Rowan Williams erred by accepting homosexuality and that has broken up the church all over."