His Holiness Pope Francis has gone out of Catholic Church’s principles and practice and gave $500 000 (about K365 million) to the government of Malawi to mitigate the hunger crisis.
The donation has been announced after the Head of the influential Catholic Church recently met Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima in Vatican.
Chilima, a devout Catholic extended an invitation from President Peter Mutharika to the Pope to visit Malawi.
The leadership of the Catholic Church in the country announced the Pope’s donation during the consecration of St Joseph the Worker Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Karonga on Saturday.
“His Holiness has decided to give $500 000 to Malawi to assist in drought relief as a sign of love for the poor and the marginalised,” said Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) chairperson Bishop Thomas Msusa.
It is very unusual for the Pope to hand out gifts of this type to governments as it not in line with the standard procedures of the Holy See.
Where disaster relief gifts are donated, it is done through Catholic Church agencies like Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (Cadecom) and Bishops Conferences.
Bishop Msusa conveyed “sincere appreciation” to the Pope “for the timely spiritual and material interventions in favour of the people in Malawi.
Vice President Chilima also expressed government’s gratitude to the Holy Father for his commitment to the poor.
Chilima, who was guest of honour at the event, also encouraged the Catholic Church to continue working towards satisfying the spiritual needs of the citizenry.