Catholic bishops condemn dragging Pope into politics, Malawi ‘fake news’ on social media

Catholic bishops have condemned the recent attack on Pope Francis at the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rally in Blantyre, saying politicians should desist from dragging the head of the Roman Catholic church in petty party politics.

Bishops of Catholic Church in Malawi issue pastoral statement

DPP’s deputy director of youth Hophmally Makande attacked the Pope at a party rally in Blantyre recently when he attacked critics who argue that President Peter Mutharika, 79, should retire due to old age and pave the way for younger leaders. He said if Mutharika is old and not fit to lead, the same should apply to the Pope who is 82.

The party and Makande already apologised for the attacks after widespread condemnation of the remarks on social media.

A political analyst Eddie Kalonga of the African University in Lilongwe dismissed Makande’s apology as insincere, arguing it was prompted by the need to pacify the Catholic faithful.

But in a statement, the bishops, through the influential Episcopal Conference of Malawi, said the attack on the Holy Father is an attack on the whole Church that is, one Holy Catholic and Apostolic.

“We call upon all political leaders, those governing and those in opposition to desist from dragging the name of the Holy Father into petty party politics,” reads the statement signed by all Catholic bishops in Malawi.

The statement, dated September 13  2018 and made available to Nyasa Times, is signed by all Catholic bishops, including Bishop Thomas Msusa, chairperson of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) and Archbishop for Blantyre Diocese; his vice Martin Mtumbuka of Karonga Diocese, Tarcisius Ziyaye of Lilongwe  Archdiocese, George Tambala of Zomba Diocese; Peter Musikuwa of Chikwawa Diocese, John Ryan of Mzuzu Diocese;   Montfort Stima, Bishop of Mangochi Diocese and Very Reverend John Chithonje Diocesan Administrator of Dedza.

The Catholic bishop also condemn the DPP recent attacks on the Catholic church and its members for “cheap political gain”

Reads the statement: “We, the Catholic bishops, ever aware of our duty to foster unity and charity among individuals have collaborated with all religious mother bodies in Malawi in pursuit of interfaith dialogue, promotion of the common good and rule of law, respect for human rights and human dignity.”

The statement says that any form of religious intolerance and provocative sentiments should not be condoned and called for mutual respect and understanding, tolerance and peaceful co-existence among people of different religions in the country.

The Catholic church has reiterated that it encourages its faithful to take an active role in politics and seeking political power at all levels of the national governance structure, insisting that the church shall not support or endorse any particular politician or political party.

The bishops have also written against the spreading of “fake news” through social media with the aim of provoking others and damaging the reputation of those with different political views.

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Munthu Muwemi
Guest

Hypocrites why do you see a speck in your brothers eye yet you cannot see a log in your own eyes? If leadership positions are for the youth, it must be uniform. And not Peter is old to rule but Pope at 80 can rule. Why? Don’t you see your selfishness here? Should we be silent in the name of Holy father? This should apply evenly if it is a wish of us all. Bishops, Reverends, Nuns, Sheiks and all groups should retire at 60 the same way we want civil servants to retire. No sacred cows. Bullshit!

ArsenioChimphamba
Guest
ArsenioChimphamba

I fault Professor Auther Peter Munthalika for remaining quiet when mistakes of this magnitude occur from his side

namalamba
Guest

And why have catholics joined with Bushiri? Is Bushiri sponsoring Chilima. Komatu inu akatolika masewera mukuchitawa kumwamba kuli moto that is for real

namalamba
Guest

Holy father my foot! The fathers have sinned and the children’s teeth have been set on edge!(or something like that). Let me ask what is holy about this occultic pope ? Who started interfering in politics (between the catholics and the politicians)and why cant the father control his children! Nonsense. If the Catholics throw mad, they should not cry when someone throws back the mud- fair game. Kaziputa limba.

Vyanunkha
Guest
Vyanunkha

Munthu akayamba kumabwebweta mmene ukupangiramu timangozowiratu kuti your days are numbered

Willie chirwa
Guest
Willie chirwa

Makande just made a comparison the pope is human as all of us has age and weakness like everybofy . Hear what’s on news on the world scene and it’s the pope this the pope that so what’s the fuss If the bishops want no comparisons you should desist from being biased in their political preferenced Some catholics are sickened by their open biased support for certain groups but cannot air out theit view for obvious reasons. Look at the alter time you have given to other gtoups or people why not others too. You are creating divisions in your… Read more »

MOPAO
Guest
MOPAO

THATS TOTALLY DISRESPECTING THE CATHOLIC FAMILY

MOPAO
Guest
MOPAO

Thats total disrespectful towards Catholics

Patrick Phiri
Guest
Patrick Phiri

We thank the bishops for the statement. However, our Bishops should not forget the origin of all this. It was not proper for one of the Bishops to advise Catholics to vote for one of their own – the current VP.

Chriss
Guest
Chriss

I was expecting the President -APM to condemn this on his arrival from China…

ANANVERUWA AKUMALOWA
Guest
ANANVERUWA AKUMALOWA

Apatu ndiye DPP yanyera m’mazi ndikumwaso omwewo mufuse kamuzu aphwanga, mufuse Bakili za 3 term Bingu atangoyamba kutumbwa kuiwala komwe adachoka zinamuyendera aphwanga ndikukuuzani UTM will carry the day come may 20, 2019. komananuso a DPP inu MAKANDE ndiogundikatu bwanji kumulora kuyankhula pagulu aaaaah munva m’bebe

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