Catholics of Dedza diocese in Malawi have now been denied the services of a bishop for two years since the death of His Lordship Emmanuel Kanyama.
Kanyama died in February 2018 and Dedza diocese Catholics have been waiting for the appointment of a new bishop till now.
Episcopal Conference of Malawi has not given immediate comment on the appointment of a new bishop but its Secretary General Fr. Henry Saindi was previously quoted in the local press saying Vatican is yet to make the appointment and that Catholics in Dedza have to wait for the new bishop.
But in random interviews some Catholics in Dedza have expressed concern over the absence of their own bishop.
“Since the death of our bishop in 2018, the diocese has been running under the leadership of the Diocesan Administrator Monsignor Chithonje. But because he is a priest, he cannot perform certain functions of a bishop. A bishop from another diocese has to come and perform such functions. We need our own bishop to guide this diocese,” said Christopher Chimpeni, a Catholic at Ganya parish in Dedza diocese.
Flossie Yohane of Nsipe parish echoes Chimpeni’s sentiments and urges Vatican to appoint a new bishop for Dedza without unnecessary delays because “Catholics in Dedza diocese now feel that they are sheep without a shepherd.”
“I don’t think the Church will ever find a very holy priest to be bishop. God chooses sinful people and turn them into leaders of the flock. We are tired without a bishop. I hope the Episcopal Conference of Malawi is doing something about this issue,” said Yohane.
The delay to appoint Dedza diocese bishop cannot be attributed to Covid-19 pandemic because Pope Francis is making new appointments despite the pandemic.
On October 25, 2020, the Pope named 13 new cardinals. These new appointees will officially become cardinals on November 28, 2020 after a consistory in Rome.
In September this year, Pope appointed new bishops for dioceses in Zimbabwe and USA.