Bishop Abel Muzorewa, President of the Rhodesian African National Council, said on Monday (4 June) in an interview that the Dean of Salisbury Cathedral banned him from the pulpit for political reasons.
SCU House number PAN TO house in background where Bishop Muzorewa lives
SV Bishop and interviewer
SV Bishop and interviewer
A transcript of remarks made by the Bishop during the interview follows:
INTERVIEWER: "Bishop, the Dean of Salisbury banned you from preaching in his cathedral. Do you think his reason was racial, or was it political?"
BISHOP MUZOREWA: "I believe, from the best information, that it was from political reasons. Although it is unfortunate that he had not seen the text of my sermon, in fact he knew the topic of the week was Christian unity. He concluded that I would take politics and therefore, this is how he acted. He has denied that it was racialistic and I want to thank him for his words."
INTERVIEWER: "You have been called a partisan political leader. As a churchman would you call yourself so?"
BISHOP: "I don't believe so."
INTERVIEWER: "Leaving the church for the moment, the Rev. Canaan Banana, deputy president of the African National Council, who recently fled from Rhodesia, is said to be going to London and in talks with the British government he will tell them that Africans still support the 'no' decision of the Pierce Commission. Do you agree with that?"
BISHOP: "I agree with it on that point that the Africans here are still rejecting the 1971 settlement proposals. But as far as Rev. Banana going on that mission to the British government, it's news to me."
INTERVIEWER: "Do you still think there's a chance for a settlement?"
BISHOP: "I believe so."
INTERVIEWER: "Do you think Mr. Smith really wants a settlement?"
BISHOP: "I believe that and I've always believed it and this is why I'm always pressing on talks. I don't think there is a single person here, among the Africans, who does not believe that he wants a settlement. The only difference is that many people are calling for a settlement that is fair for Africans. We are calling for a settlement that is just for all."
INTERVIEWER: "Are not the churches taking an increasing part in the political life of this and other countries?"
BISHOP: "We believe that they are trying to do something, but they are not doing enough, because I believe, as one Christian leader once said, that politics has no place in Christianity, but Christianity has a place in politics. And I believe they are not doing enough, they should be doing more of it, so that politics does not become dirty, but become cleansed by the Christian gospel.
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Background: Bishop Abel Muzorewa, President of the Rhodesian African National Council, said on Monday (4 June) in an interview that the Dean of Salisbury Cathedral banned him from the pulpit for political reasons.
He said he accepted the Dean's assurances that there was no racial intention behind the ben.
Bishop Muzorewa said in the interview at his home in an African suburb of Salisbury that he thought the Dean had expected he would make a political statement on the theme of the week at the Cathedral -- Christian unity.
He also said that most Africans still reject the settlement terms for independence from Britain being pressed by the Rhodesian Government. He said he was certain Mr. Ian Smith, wanted a settlement and added that he though churches and churchmen should take a greater political role in Africa.