Really, this is only for the sake of the headline. Nolbert Kunonga, the onetime Anglican bishop of Harare in Zimbabwe, was excommunicated four years ago for sermons that incited violence on behalf of Robert Mugabe’s ruling party. Calling Mugabe a “prophet of God” helped him get the police on his side, and he seized the Harare cathedral and a good many church resources in the process. And he managed to find a highfalutin excuse for the expropriation, attaching himself to the anti-homosexuality brigade in the Anglican church. Thus he is not a thug and thief backed by a dictator’s power, in his own eyes and those of his adherents; he’s a persecuted crusader against perversion.
He now claims to be an archbishop, and therefore the peer of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The latter is visiting Zimbabwe next week. Since he is likely to express some animadversions against the Mugabe regime’s violence, Kunonga naturally objects: “He is coming to represent neo-colonialism. He is coming to lobby for homosexuality.”
The Anglican Church in Africa is of course in origin a colonial church, and as long as Kunonga wears some version of its robes he too can be called part of a neo-colonial system; people who live in glass cathedrals shouldn’t throw scones. The homophobia he spews is equally a funded product of forces outside Africa, spawned by US right-wing donors promoting an Anglican schism. The folks abroad who back Peter Akinola, Nigeria’s rabid prelate, have so far not openly embraced Kunonga, because his affiliations with a dictator are a little too toxic for their tastes. But he’s the logical embodiment of their ambitions.
Meanwhile, Kunonga’s latest move has been to grab control of a church orphanage — undoubtedly a donor magnet — and kick out the nuns who ran it.
Sister Dorothy, one of the three nuns in charge of the care of orphans at the Shearly Cripps home near Murewa, [said that] local officials and followers of Kunonga told the orphanage staff they were under orders to leave because they “support homosexuality.” … Local officials in this longtime Mugabe party stronghold showed an unsigned court eviction order when the caregivers were bathing, feeding and giving medication to children last week, she said … Visitors to the orphanage have since reported that children appeared not to have received regular meals and it was not clear whether qualified replacement staff were at the historic Shearly Cripps home.
Come on; kids don’t need food, they need heterosexuality. And obviously those weren’t real nuns, just a bunch of pederastic drag queens. Having shut down the local branch of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, what will Kunonga do next? Such a poster boy for traditional morality surely has some new defense of virtue up his capacious sleeve. Anglican schismatics everywhere will be breathlessly waiting.