Catholic will not endorse candidates in Malawi 2019 polls: Bishop Ryan, Father Tamani say church to provide guidance

Bishop John Ryan of Mzuzu Diocese of the Catholic Church and Vicar General of the Catholic Archdiocese of Blantyre Father Boniface Tamani  have  said in separate messages that the church prohibits its clergy from endorsing political candidates, and urging them to tread carefully when it comes to political activity.

Bishop Ryan: Church wil only give guidance

Father Tamani: No endrsement

Catholic leaders, including some priests and bishops, have not been shy about jumping into the fray of electoral politics with statements that in some cases amount to de facto endorsements.

But Bishop Professor Ryan said the church will not endorse any political party or steering fellow believers toward particular presidential candidate for the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections. .

He said Catholic bishops and priests operate within a strict hierarchical model, one in which public endorsements of political candidates are discouraged.

“As a Catholic Church, we cannot endorse any one leader. We will not endorse any one party,” said the bishop during the inauguration of St Mary’s Catholic Parish at Kasitu in Nkhotakota on Saturday.

But the bishop said the influential Catholic Church will give Malawians tips on the quality of leaders to look for in the forthcoming Tripartite Elections.

Ryan said the Church guidelines for qualities of a leader are contained in a pastoral letter titled Call for a New Era endorsed by Catholic bishops in the country in May this year.

He said the Episcopal Conference of Malawi agreed to guide Malawians to look for a leader with qualities that include  God-fearing and one who is above tribal, religion, political and church interest.

In his sermon at a separate church event, Fr Tamani said they don’t see a need to invite the sorts of divisions that politics often brings by supporting a particular party of candidate.

“It’s not the responsibility of the church to tell you to vote for this party, or this candidate. The church will never side with a political party,” said Tamani.

“We would like people who are trying the best. There is no perfect leader because he or she is a human being prone to make mistakes,” he said.

Tamani asked the Catholics to put God first in their lives.

The Catholic Church’s social services infrastructure is vast and it has large following hence being influential.

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Time for change
Guest
Time for change

In 1992 the Catholic Church clearly endorsed the fight for multiparty politics. This is the whole reason we are where we are. For those who think Chilima is promising the moon vuto lathu ndi kukulira mu dziko losauka, dziko loti mu town mulibe ma robots. Dziko loti munthu kumaliza University kuchita kufuna connections kuti upeze ntchito. Tinazolowera mavuto komanso kukhala ndi atsogoleri olephera. Kodi mukamati dzikoli silingatukuke mofulumira ndiye kuti ndi rapid population growth yathuyi umphawi udzafika potani

Napoleon muza
Guest

Welcome speech by His grace Bishop Ryan and Fr Tamani . The church image was not good seeing other bishops and fathers supporting Chilima openly giving him a pulpit to campaign and campaign for him. It is because of wrong advise from some bishops and father’s that Chilima thought of starting the movement or to make it open . The Catholic Church has more those in government who have served the church faithfully for a long time, but because of creed of some bishops and fathers, they started messing up things. We have senior ministers , Junior and MPs who… Read more »

Bishop Msusa wa UTM
Guest

Koma Bishop msusa wamva zomwe wanena Bishop Prof. Ryan zoti mpingo usamasapote a political candidate nor political party zi? Iwe msusa zoona azichita kukuposa Tamani pakaganizidwe?

Amangwetu mjomba che msusaa ukwii kikiki

Its high time msusa realised that the church is bigger and more diverse than the so called UTM. Please dont reduce the church to a political entity.

And who is msusa to dictate to us catholics on what to do with our vote? I am catholic but truelly I support MCP, UDF, DPP, PP but certainly not msusa’s UTM.

pathfinder
Guest
pathfinder

Mpingo wakatolika wayionera patali. Aona kuti kachilima aka sikawathandiza kawapusitsa ndikuwaonongera chithunzithunzi cha mpingo wao. Mfundo zachilima zambiri ndizongolakalaka atalemba anthu ntchito one million, yes maybe in a long run not one year.

Patrick Phiri
Guest
Patrick Phiri

The Catholic Bishops have been compelled to say this in order to correct the statement made by ArchiBishop Msusa of Blantyre Diocese who asked Catholics to vote for a fellow Catholic a few weeks ago. It was a careless statement.

Chothandizila
Guest
Chothandizila

At no point has Bishop Msusa ever endorsed Chilima. Listen to the audios of any ceremony that Msusa presided over. He has always encouraged Catholics to vote for God-fearing and patriotic leaders but has never endorsed a candidate. He has actually told Catholic faithful to avoid choosing leaders based on tribal or political affiliation. But those that have good qualities. He went further to say if the one with good qualities happens to be of your tribe or religion then there is no problem choosing that leader. This last statement is not an endorsement of a particular leader, no. However,… Read more »

Mande
Guest
Mande

Zimvere mu mtolo Chilima. People in the Catholic church are now torn apart because of the misguided support our bishops for have shown you – Chilima. The church is now realising how damaging its support is for the church. Shame on our bishops.

Phsyuta5
Guest
Phsyuta5

This is the real Catholic Teaching I know. Osakhala zosandutsa mpingo chipani. The Lord will give Chilima a big lesson on 19 May 2019.

Mulupale
Guest
Mulupale

I beg to differ. The Lord will teach the thieves a lesson!

Vision
Guest
Vision

Ukunama iwe. Chilima sangawine. Mumva kuwawa even before 2019.

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