Monday, February 28, 2011

Anglican Bishop Wants Malawians To Embrace Homosexuals

Brighton Malasa, Upper Shire Diocese Bishop in Malawi's Anglican Church, has asked people to be accommodative on gays and lesbians,saying even "these people are Malawian citizens".
Malasa told Zachimalawi in an exclusive interview Sunday that it was high time Malawians accepted the "reality that people are born differently".
His stance comes barely four days after he reiterated this stance to a Malawi Network of Religious Leaders Living or Personally Affected by HIV and AIDS (Manerela+). At the meeting, held in Malawi's Lakeshore District of Mangochi under the theme: 'Generous Pastoral Response Towards Most at Risk Populations in Malawi for Religious Leaders'.

Malasa steps in the toes of the Malawi Council of Churches, which recently criticised Malawi's development partners for 'promoting' homosexual sentiments in Malawi.
Malasa told Zachimalawi: "The church should not be in the forefront encouraging homophobia. Instead, this is our opportunity to be there for them, both homosexuals, commercial sex workers, and other marginalised members of society. This is our noble, spiritual role".
Malasa said, however, that his sentiments did not mean he was supporting development partners who have cut, or are withholding, chunks of money meant for social-economic development upliftment projects.
Gays attract controversy in Malawi
"Actually, I am saying this from a spiritual point of view, which view advocates for, and promotes, love- unconditional love. We need to be all-embracing," said Bishop Malasa.
Added he: "However, let me make it clear that I am not supporting gays; my call is just an invitation to them. These people are sinners, do not know what they are doing, are confused, and are, therefore, in dire need of salvation. It is from this stand point that I am asking each and everyone of us to follow the example of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: He was there for everybody, including sinners. He came here for sinners, and redeemed thm on the cross of Calvary. Let us invite gays and lesbians- because they are sinners- unto Christ; let us not chase them away to perish."
Malasa said he was ready to defend his position "anywhere".
"I am a servant of God; I have to preach love. Remember, Jesus is love. Homosexuals need love; our unconditional love. When we condemn homosexuals, we are putting a condition to their situation, and these people (homosexuals) cannot be open to discussion. Let us change our minds," said Malasa.
The Anglican Church is not new to homosexual issues in Malawi; in fact, the church was some five years ago plagued by wrangles over the appointment, and subsequent removal, of a gay bishop.
Members of the church did split at the time, bringing temporary confusion in the Anglican Church.
Is Bishop Brighton Malasa opposing the position of President Bingu wa Mutharika (above)?

Bishop Brighton Malasa

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