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12 Anglican priests apologise, recalled

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Anglican Archbishop of the Church of the Province of Central Africa Albert Chama has invited 12 of the 15 excommunicated priests of the Anglican Diocese of the Upper Shire (Adus) to a restoration process.

The restoration comes after the 12 apologised.

However, the church has not invited the other three including former bishop of the diocese, Brighton Malasa, because they have not apologised.

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Chama excommunicated the priests late last year after they defied to meet him during his visit to Malawi.

He came to Malawi specifically to meet the 15 priests for them following their suspension.

The Anglican leader has since written personal letters to each of the 12 priests detailing the process they should follow before they are welcomed back into the Anglican Church.

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“Following your excommunication from the Anglican Church on 23rd October, 2022 and subsequent meeting last December at St Mark’s in Liwonde, we have decided through the mercy of God to restore you to the full membership of the church after you have undergone the following steps,” one letter reads.

The steps demand that the priests should attend a clergy conference and seminar to be organised by the Vicar General in collaboration with the dean of the province.

The priests are also demanded to go for a retreat that will culminate into repentance and priestly vows in the Maundy Thursday service to be held at the cathedral church.

The church further informs the priests to bear in mind that their restoration will be probationary in nature to ascertain the sincerity of their remorse.

“We commend you to God’s keeping as you reflect on your calling to God’s mission and his Church’s ministry. For Christ is our peace. He has reconciled us to God in one body by the cross. We meet in his name and share his peace,” Chama’s letter reads.

Diocesan Secretary for the Adus, Chris Zambira, confirmed Chama’s letter.

Zambira said the invitation to the restoration did not extend to three priests including Malasa because they did not show any remorse. Zambira said Chama wrote the priests individually following their plea for clemency.

“The church is responding to their remorse, their seeking forgiveness, their repentance demonstrated by personally writing the Archbishop of their regrets towards participating in disgracing the church,” Zambira said.

He said the priests also demonstrated their remorse by appearing before the archbishop in person in December during his visit where they pleaded for forgiveness and restoration.

“The archbishop did not immediately respond to their pleas but promised to write them individually of what is expected of them,” Zambira said.

Malasa did not respond to our question on why he did not apologise. After they were excommunicated, the clergy sought court intervention to have the excommunication rescinded.

The current turmoil in the Adus emanates from the time Malasa fell out of grace with the church over several administrative issues which resulted into him being forced to retire prematurely.

Malasa challenged the retirement and demanded K1 billion package and other benefits.

He took the matter to court. When Chama came to Malawi to meet Malasa and the clergy on his side, he and the clergy shunned the archbishop, forcing him to excommunicate them.

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