Bishop Zuza to discipline Priest over PDM remarks

Head of the Catholic Church in Malawi and also Mzuzu Diocese Bishop Joseph Zuza is going to discipline Father Eugene Ng’oma for bringing the influential church into disrepute over remarks he made at a recent People’s Development Movement (PDM) rally in Rumphi, Nyasa Times understands.

The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (Mzuzu diocese), which acts on behalf of the Bishop on matters of justice and Peace disclosed the development during a news conference held at Diocese’s offices.

Father Ng’oma reportedly said at a campaign rally in Rumphi central constituency that the Catholic Church will support PDM’s candidate to clinch the seat which fell vacant last year following the death of former minister of health professor Moses Chirambo.

Bishopa Zuza: Catholic church is apolitical but plays a prophetic role

“We don’t support any political party but as a Church we can help people on who to choose basing on certain attributes. But regarding what Father Ng’oma did it’s up to the Bishop to decide what to do because personally I think this is a violation of the Church’s doctrine and teachings,” CCJP Board Chairperson Reverend Father Phillip Nkunika said.

Nkunika said Father Ng’oma erred because he is not the spokesperson of the Diocese adding that what he said were purely personal views.

“On behalf of the ecclesiastical authority of Mzuzu diocese, CCJP would like to categorically condemn and denounce the remarks by Father Ng’oma, director of Tigabane radio. What he said is not the stand of the church as well as the mind of Priests in the diocese,” Nkunika said.

According to Nkunika, Father Ng’oma has already admitted to the Church’s authority his wrongdoing and that his conduct was outside the church’s doctrine.

“Like all citizens, Priests have a right to make political choices or associations but the essential political identity of Priests should be refusal to identify oneself with a political party. They must avoid partisan politics,” he explained.

Nkunika said the Church exists for the common good of the people (Christians), in the same way, political community exists for the common good in which the community finds its pristine and proper right.

“In the Catholic Church Priests have a duty to form the laity so that they would be able to build up a temporal society in accordance with God’s intentions. Therefore, when the Church speaks on socio-political issues, the priests are supposed to be in the forefront explaining … the implications of the Church’s message, “he said.

Bye elections  in Rumphi central constituency are scheduled for September 6.

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