Monday, May 13, 2013

Seeds of division, jealousy and competition for power have led to a fractured society - ZEC
By Mwala Kalaluka
Sun 12 May 2013, 14:00 CAT

ZAMBIA Episcopal Conference president Archbishop Ignatius Chama says the emerging seeds of division, jealousy and competition for power in the country have led to a fractured society that needs repair.

And Apostolic Nuncio to Zambia Archbishop Julio Murat says dialogue is the cornerstone on which all relations are built.

During a thanksgiving Mass on the occasion of the election of Pope Francis at the Cathedral of the Child Jesus in Lusaka yesterday, Archbishop Chama said Zambia needs leaders and citizens who live according to the Christian values of love, truth, justice, peace and honesty.

"Today we come together representing our brothers and sisters to thank God for the gift of Pope Francis, the new leader of the more than 1.2 billion Catholics in the World. We come together not only to give thanks but also to pray for him," he told a packed cathedral.

Archbishop Chama said the occasion was also a moment to pray for Pope Emeritus Benedict who had opted to continue serving the Church through the ministry of prayer and contemplation following his resignation.
He said Jesus had called Peter to lead a clear and categorical mission of pastoral responsibility.

"Is this not the same as what happened on the day of our baptism, on the day of the blessing of our marriages, on the day of our religion profession, on the day of our priestly ordination and episcopal consecration? Yes on that day we were asked a number of questions and we made our own commitments to be at the service of God, to be at the service of our spouses and to be at the service of the Church and to do so with love," Archbishop Chama said.

"However, you and I know very well that it is easier said than done. We many a time fail to put into practice our marriage promise to love one another until death. Many times we fail to live our religious vows that binds us to remain poor, chaste and obedient after the example of our Lord Jesus Christ. Not only that, many times us clergy we fail to be obedient to our bishops and to surrender ourselves to God and to his Church."

He said the election of Pope Francis had spurred the local church to continue the faithful work of the new evangelisation in the country.
"Pope Francis has reminded us to live a life of compassion, simplicity, forgiveness and social justice not just in words but in action," Archbishop Chama said.

"We exist to strengthen ourselves and to demonstrate in concrete action God's love and compassion for the poor, the sick and all those who are aflicted by physical and spiritual disability."

He said the Catholic Church in Zambia in communion with Pope Francis would continue not only to speak on behalf of the poor but also to serve the poor.

"After all this is exactly what God expects of us who belong to the prophetic Church," Archbishop Chama said. "It, therefore, does not augur well when we see in our country few people becoming richer and richer because maybe of their exorbitant salaries and hefty allowances while the majority of the Zambians continue to wallow in sheer poverty."

He further urged proclaimers of the gospel to use words only when and if necessary.

"Sometimes we have cracks within our Christian communities, within our nation. We see the emergence of elements of division, jealousy and competition for power. St Francis repaired and built the Church by living the gospel values of humility, obedience, simplicity and charity," said Archbishop Chama.

"We therefore, pray today that God may sow in our hearts the seed of unity and pastoral solidarity…so that we can mend our fractured relationships in our families, in our communities, in our Church and in our beloved country, Zambia."

And during a reception on the occasion of the election of Pope Francis held at his residence in Lusaka on Friday, Archbishop Murat said the new Pope had expressed a desire to continue on the road of dialogue.

"No real bridges among men can be built without God," said Archbishop Murat. "It is the Holy See's mandate to give voice to the conscience of person and to encourage people of goodwill to do their utmost for the good of the human person."

Foreign affairs deputy minister Gabriel Namulambe said at the same function that it was the Zambian government's expectation that Pope Francis would continue to defend and promote the fundamentals of peace, solidarity and human dignity for the poor.

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