The Anglican Council of Zimbabwe (ACZ) has stood in solidarity with the Catholic Bishops’ pastoral letter which criticised the government for bad governance and neglection of the economic and humanitarian and political crises in the country.
The pastoral letter attracted criticism from the government which told the church to maintain its lane or announce that it was now venturing into politics full time.
Below is the ACZ’s statement in full.
“Son of man, I have made you watchman to the house of Israel: therefore, hear the word at my mouth and give them warning from Me”. (Ezekiel 3:17).
The Anglican Council of Zimbabwe (ACZ) writes in solidarity to the pastoral letter issued on 14 August 2020 by the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference entitled “The March is Not Ended”. ACZ notes with concern the several responses by the Government of Zimbabwe to the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference which seem to dismiss the fact that the Church is called to exercise its prophetic role. which can mean challenging our political leaders on their conduct of affairs, particularly if this affects the people of God.
We write this message to highlight our concerns and emphasize that “Indeed the “March is Not Ended” unless and until the issues raised by the people of Zimbabwe and also echoed by the bishops are attended to and resolved holistically.
We wish to register our concerns to the several responses of the government which we feel were counter-productive to the efforts being made by many stakeholders including the Church to unite the nation.
We make it abundantly clear that since time immemorial, the Church in Zimbabwe has spoken against injustice and has been consistent in that regard. Any view or postulation to the contrary would be an attempt to re-write that narrative in order to promote a negative picture of what the Church stands for. The Church has the Biblical mandate to speak without fear or favour, particularly to a government which believes that “The voice of the people is the voice of God.” The prophetic ministry of the Church mandates it to speak for God and for His people as it is the ambassador of Christ and God is appealing through it. (2 Cor. 5:20).
As Anglican Bishops, we desire to see an engagement of all stakeholders (as requested by Zimbabwe Heads Of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD) and respect of the Constitution of the land and institutions thereof for the good of our nation and (Proverbs 11:14): victory for the nation as we. together. overcome all our challenges.
We also call upon the citizens of this our beautiful nation to remain calm, pray for peace and to work towards all that promotes peace and the common good. We also call upon all Christians and other religions to pray for our leaders and the nation at large for peace. stability and prosperity.
To our brothers and Roman Catholic Church in particular. we say we are holding you in our prayers and I May the Blessing of the Almighty God strengthen you and be with you now and forever. Amen.
.Ignatios Makumbe ACZ Chairman (Diocese of Central Zimbabwe)
+Godfrey Tawonezvi (Diocese of Masvingo)
• Cleophas Lunga (Diocese of Matabeleland)
+ Erick Ruwona (Diocese of Manicaland)
• Faral Mutamiri (Diocese of Harare)