Bishop Slams Anglican Digest over Polygamy Story

David Virtue DVirtue236 at AOL.COM
Thu May 24 01:31:51 EDT 2001

Editor Apologizes


By David W. Virtue

The Bishop of Shyira, in the Province of Rwanda has slammed an article
in the most recent issue of The Anglican Digest, which says his
Province permits polygamy.

In a letter to the magazine the Rt. Rev. John K. Rucyahana writes: "You
have greatly distorted the truth. First, I want you to know that the
Province of Rwanda has nine dioceses. Second, the Province of Rwanda
does NOT permit polygamy. Our Church has a mission to convert the
polygamous family members to Jesus Christ. Polygamists are called to
repentance and we disciple them. The men stay with one wife, though
remaining faithful for all the children they fathered. But even after
conversion, they are not given responsibility in our Church."

The Anglican Digest ran the story under the heading "DID YOU KNOW?"
"The Diocese of Rwanda, which sponsors the Anglican Mission in America
(AMiA) because of the Episcopal Church's stance on homosexuality,
permits polygamy in its own territory."

Canon Fred Barbee, the digest's editor yesterday issued a complete
retraction and formal apology to the Bishop and the African diocese.
"We acknowledge and bewail an inaccurate report gleaned form another
source in the Whitsuntide Issue of The Anglican Digest (TAD. The Bishop
of Shyira has written to state that the Province of Rwanda (with nine
diocese) does not condone polygamy, rather the church has the mission
to convert the polygamists' family members to Jesus Christ."

The Digest regrets the error and apologizes to the Province of Rwanda.

The story deeply angered the bishop who wrote a letter to the editors
of the Digest saying that, "Those who fall from Christian grace and
become polygamous are disciplined. They do not receive communion and
cannot even be godparents in our Church. Our position marks a
difference between those who claim that their sins and weaknesses are
acceptable in the sight of God."

"I hope that you will have the grace to apologize to the Episcopal
Church of Rwanda so that you may recover your credibility in the eyes
of your readers."

Liberal and revisionist ECUSA bishops have often used the polygamy
argument to claim that African Anglicans, who are predominantly
evangelical, are "primitive" and "one step from animism" in order to
show how backward they are for failing to endorse homosexual behavior
in the Episcopal Church.


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