Tom Sutcliffe takes some African clergymen to task.
Last week the Bishop of Pretoria, Johannes Seoka, added his voice to that of John Sentamu and Archbishop Tutu in calling for change in Harare. He said that it was now "an opportune moment for all church leaders... to call on God to cause the removal of Mugabe from the office of the President of Zimbabwe".
Like all calls to prayer in bad times, this rather begged the question of what God has been up to for the last five or six years, as the country collapsed and millions suffered. I know He's supposed to be slow to anger, but this is getting embarrassing. Is He sitting there tapping his fingers and thinking, "Right, if the cholera deaths rise above 100,000 then I really will do something"? Or has he just not noticed at all? Did Zimbabwe get buried in His overflowing in-tray, so that it needs to be tactfully drawn to His attention?
If God existed, then he shouldn't really need nagging like this to do the right thing. As he doesn't, men of goodwill like the bishop might do better to address themselves to earthly powers. They've also shown an apparently God-like indifference to the catastrophe on their doorstep, but they might at least acknowledge receipt of the message.