Africa Elects First Anglican Woman Bishop: In South Africa!
July 19, 2012 7 Comments
And who said the Ordinariate would never come to Africa? Perhaps it’s time for an urgent rethink?
The Rev. Ellinah Wamukoya elected Bishop of Swaziland.
Africa has elected its first female Anglican bishop. On 18 July 2012 an Elective Assembly meeting in Mbabane elected the Rev. Ellinah Wamukoya as fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Swaziland.
Bishop-elect Wamukoya (61) will be the first female Anglican bishop in Africa and the continent’s second female bishop of a mainline church – in 2008 the Rt. Rev. Joaquina Nhanala was elected the Methodist bishop of Mozambique.
Educated at the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, the new bishop has exercised a bi-vocational ministry. She serves as Anglican chaplain at the University of Swaziland and at St Michael’s High School in Manzini. Bishop-elect Wamukoya is also the Town Clerk and CEO of the City Council of the town of Manzini and is a skilled and seasoned financial administrator.
The new bishop enters the stage at a difficult moment in the political and ecclesial life of Swaziland. Her predecessor, the Rt. Rev. Meshack Mabuza has been a sharp critic of King Mswati III, the last absolute monarch in sub-Saharan Africa. King Mswati has ruled the landlocked mountain kingdom since 1986 and has been denounced by church and civil society leaders for mismanagement of the economy. The king also has earned a public image as a profligate ruler unconcerned with his subjects’ poverty.
Read on at Anglican Ink.
See here’s the thing. The Ordinariate is about providing a safe refuge for (former) Anglicans, who in good conscience, cannot go along with the theological malaise and error that has become such a characteristic of what Anglicanism now is. In this instance, you either believe that woman priestesses (and now, Bishopesses) are Biblical and sacerdotally acceptable, or you do not (cf. 1 Tim. 2:11–14). And if you depart from the apostolic Church and Biblical teachings (that they are not), then what is there to stop you from believing whatever other erroneous doctrines you see fit or choose to believe in? The greatest errors come from the smallest deviations/changes and the Episcopalian Church in the US now stands as a stark testimony to this very reality. I’ve come to see and learn, slowly, that it is all about authority, and the biggest problem is in the area of, and in the requirement for, obedience.
Dissent comes easy. But it just as easily turns ugly… and sinful. And there is a great need to flee from that which is wrong, to truth and light. The beleaguered faithful, assailed, trying, and burdened by usurping liberalism, will sooner rather than later, need to find relief and comfort from the storm. And where will that safe place be? Where will help come from?
Not so long ago Fr Peter Geldard called it in the Portal Magazine. Speculating on future Ordinariates, he stated and asked:
When I visited South Africa in the past, I was often reminded of Archbishop Fisher’s words that the Anglican Church there once “was the jewel in the Anglo-Catholic crown”.
Is anyone in that Province listening and responding. . . I wonder?’
The Diocese of Swaziland with its Bishopess-elect is slap bang in the middle of South Africa, and part of the Province of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. So, Father Peter, we may soon enough get to see just who is ‘listening and responding’… If there was ever justification for Anglo-Catholics in Africa questioning their doctrinal position, then this has to be it!
Rev Ellinah Wamukoya’s position in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (if you still need further proof) is here.
The Rev. Canon Petero A. N. Sabune, Africa Partnership officer for the Episcopal Church, writes:
What a glorious day of Joy and wonder for the people of Africa. I was at the Synod in Swaziland in 1992, when the vote was taken to ordain women. The Synod was chaired by The Most Reverend And Metropolitan, Archbishop Mphilo Desmond Tutu and there were tears of joy and thanksgiving. At the Synod last year, Thabo the current Primate lamented on how few dioceses have women priests.This is the day the Lord has made let us Rejoice and be Glad ! Amen