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MOZAMBIQUE: Anglican Church Moves to Expel Archbishop Over Fixed Election

MOZAMBIQUE: Anglican Church Moves to Expel Archbishop Over Fixed Election
The push to rid the province of the primate is not really what it's about, say sources.

By David W. Virtue, DD
December 10, 2023

The Anglican Church in Mozambique is in turmoil following a rebellion by the church's bishops against the leadership of Archbishop Dom Carlos Matsinhe. The bishops no longer want Matsinhe to remain at the helm of the church in the former Portuguese African colony following his role in local government elections that have since proven to have been rigged in favor of President Filipe Nyusi's party.

As a result, Matsinhe's subordinates in the Anglican Church of Mozambique and Angola have written a letter demanding his resignation, saying his endorsement of the disputed polls was a betrayal of the people of Mozambique, thereby making him unfit to remain head of the church. Matsinhe is also the chairman of Mozambique's electoral body, the National Elections Commission, whose integrity is also now being questioned, according to an article in Religion Unplugged by Cyril Zenda.

A letter signed by 10 of the province's 12 bishops, demanded Matsinhe's resignation as archbishop of the Anglican church for failing to perform his civic duties as the president of the National Elections Commission. (CNE) A Nov. 14 meeting of the Standing Committee of the 23rd Session of the Diocesan Synod of the Anglican Church that had Matsinhe's fate as the only agenda item was postponed after the defendant insisted on having armed guard accompany him to the meeting.

Matsinhe is accused of siding with the ruling FRELIMO party in a country with a delicate political foundation, where the opposition RENAMO party only reentered civilian politics after waging a 15-year civil war. Another armed insurgency by Islamist jihadists is currently raging in the northeast of the country.

You can read the full story here: https://virtueonline.org/mozambique-anglican-church-moves-oust-archbishop-over-rigged-election

That's the official line. However, multiple sources told Virtueonline that this is not what the real story is about.

One source in South Africa said, "this has been brewing for a while. While Mozambique's dioceses are no longer in the Anglican Church in South Africa (ACSA,) the Archbishop of Cape Town is a supporter of Matsinhe and the bishop of Nampula, Manuel Ernesto - because they are in the Archbishop of Canterbury's camp. All other 10 bishops of the Anglican Church of Mozambique and Angola are firmly in the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA) camp.

Another orthodox Anglican Archbishop told VOL that The Anglican Communion Office and Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury have been bullying these bishops because it is a new province and they are conservative.

The Rt. Rev. Bill Atwood, International Diocese in the Anglican Church in North America, said, "I was privileged to meet with the bishops from Angola and Mozambique while we were at GAFCON IV. They are not only biblically faithful; they are amazingly fruitful. They remind me very much of their common language brothers and sisters in the Anglican Church in Brazil, who also speak Portuguese. It is fun watching synergy develop between them!"

"There is so much Gospel clarity, it is not surprising that there are liberals who try to disparage them, but these are authentic Gospel people. The sooner they can be recognized as a Province, the better!"

Earlier in July, bishops from 24 Anglican dioceses in 11 countries gathered in the Mozambique capital of Maputo for 10 days of leadership orientation with the first of a new series of regional events to support bishops' induction and professional development across the Anglican Communion.

While the story is being positioned as a political story, it is really about who controls, or is trying to control this new province in the Anglican Communion.

Justin Welby has lost the confidence of the GAFCON primates who make up 85 percent of the communion. They no longer recognize his leadership of the Anglican Communion, nor will they attend any meetings or conferences he calls. Recently the GSFA Primates led by Archbishop Justin Badi of South Sudan said they were on a course to "reset" the communion, away from the heresies of the Church of England and Justin Welby over the blessing of same-sex unions.

Both GSFA and GAFCON Primates share the view that, due to the departures from orthodoxy articulated above, they can no longer recognize the Archbishop of Canterbury as an Instrument of Communion, the 'first among equals' of the Primates. They call his leadership "entirely indefensible."

Archbishop James Wong, primate of the Anglican Province of the Indian Ocean, is on record saying that "We are the real members of the Anglican Communion."


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