Malawi’s Archibishop of Blantyre Diocese Thomas Msusa and his Lilongwe counterpart Tarcizius Ziyaye have been been given the authority by Pope Francis to become Metropolitan bishops in the country.
This follows a ceremony held on Sunday in Vatican, Rome where the two Malawian Archibishops were among five in Africa and 24 in the world to receive the symbol of authority from Pope Francis called Palliums to become Metropolitan bishops.
According to a report carried on Vatican Radio Archbishop Thomas Msusa will now have the jurisdiction to oversee Dioceses of Chikwawa, Zomba, Mangochi and Blantyre while Archbishop Ziyaye, who did not attend the ceremony, will take charge of Lilongwe, Dedza, Mzuzu and Karonga.
Archbishop Msusa told Vatican Radio he would use his role to bring unity among bishops, priests, the religious and laity as a Metropolitan bishop.
“I felt so humbled to receive the pallium. I felt that here I was united with the Holy Father and I felt, who am I to receive such a great honour?”
“My main role as Metropolitan is that of uniting the clergy, the religious and also the laity. We have four dioceses in the Southern region of Malawi namely, Mangochi, Chikwawa, Blantyre and Zomba. My role is to take up the challenge to deepen the faith in Jesus”.
In his homily, the Holy Father Pope Francis called on the Archbishops to follow Christ without regard to difficulties and without fear.
The other African bishops who received the palliums are Archbishops Gabriel ‘Leke Abegunrin of the Archdiocese of Ibadan in Nigeria; Damian Denis Dallu of Songea in Tanzania; Emmanuel Obbo of Tororo in Uganda; Benjamin Balthason Ramaroson of Antsiranana of Madagascar.
Palliums are woolen bands placed over the shoulders of an Archbishop who is a Metropolitan.
The pallium rests on the shoulder of the Archbishop on the front chest and at the back.