September 27, 2016

KENYA: Total Dependency on Donors not Workable, Cardinal Njue tells Faithful


NAIROBI SEPTEMBER 23, 2016 (CISA) – John Cardinal Njue of the Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi has called on the Catholic faithful to work towards being self-reliant and own the Church.

“Total dependency on the donors is not going to be very workable, that’s why we in the Church encourage our people to always have that sense of ownership,” said the Cardinal on September 21.

He said this in his homily at the Blessing and Commissioning of Marsabit Plaza — a high-rise commercial building put up on Ngong’ Road, Nairobi by the Catholic diocese of Marsabit as part of its self reliance projects.

“We have come together to thank God and ask him to bless this building, that it may be a source of strength for the diocese of Marsabit to be able to continue with the process of evangelization,” the Cardinal said.

“A seed was planted and now it is our work to water it and to weed it so that in the course of time it produces the results that will be beneficial to the people in Marsabit,” he added.

According to the host, Bishop Peter Kihara of the Catholic Diocese of Marsabit the project which was envisioned by his predecessors “is a realization of a laid down strategic plan of the diocese.”

The event was attended by Bishop Philip Anyolo Chairman Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops KCCB, Bishop John Oballa Owaa vice Chairperson KCCB, Bishop Joseph Mbatia of Nyahururu, Bishop Emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Marsabit Ambrose Ravasi and Fr Joseph Waithaka, the new Regional Superior of the Consolata Missionaries Kenya/Uganda region.

Also in attendance were faithful from Marsabit diocese, financiers, as well as technical and contractor teams that made the project possible.

The Marsabit Plaza offers office and shopping space and includes two basement parking spaces with a capacity of about 130 vehicles.


GHANA: We need More Selfless People to Lead our Nation, Archbishop Says


KUMASI SEPTEMBER 23, 2016(CISA) – Archbishop Peter K. Sarpong, Archbishop Emeritus of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kumasi has urged leaders to be selfless and work tirelessly without expecting any reward.

“Present-day Ghana is too inexplicably selfish, full of selfish individuals, groups and tribes… We need great men for Ghana, who would work selflessly and sacrificially for the nation,” Ghana Web quoted Archbishop Emeritus as saying. Archbishop Emeritus was speaking during a lecture titled, “The relevance of Archbishop John Kodwo Amissah’s thoughts in today’s Ghana”, at the Christ the King Parish Hall in Accra, September 20.

Archbishop Amissah was the archbishop of Cape Coast until his tragic death in a car accident on September 22, 1991 on his way to pastoral visit to one of the parishes of the archdiocese of Cape Coast.

The late bishop was notably forthright and fearless in his defense of people against individuals or bodies whose actions and policies were destructive of those rights.

The lecturer was organised by the Knighthood Forum of the Catholic Church, made up of the Knights and Ladies of Marshall and the Knights of St John International and Ladies Auxiliary.

Stating the thoughts of Archbishop Amissah, Archbishop Emeritus Sarpong said “his hatred for injustice is surely relevant to today’s Ghana, where injustices are committed with the ease with which we blow our noses.”

He challenged leaders in the country to stand for truth, justice and defend those whose rights are trampled upon.


DRC: Bishops Suspend Participation in National Dialogue as Violence Rocks Kinshasa


KINSHASA, SEPTEMBER 23 2016(CISA) – Catholic Bishops in the Democratic Republic of Congo have temporarily suspended their participation in the on-going national dialogue, in order to mourn the more than 50 people killed during the Kinshasa clashes on September 20.

“Out of respect for our innocent brothers and sisters, and in solidarity with struggling families and the entire Congolese people, CENCO has wisely considered to suspend its participation in the national dialogue in mourning and to search for a broad consensus,” Archbishop Marcel Utembi, President of the Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) told Vatican Radio’s French African Programme.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Thursday, condemned this week’s fatal shooting of anti-government protesters in DRC and urged the government to seek dialogue with the opposition.

He said the death toll from clashes between protesters and security forces in Kinshasa on Monday had risen to at least 50 contrasting the government’s said toll of 32.

“The writing is on the wall and the authorities need to pull back from their extremely confrontational position and build bridges with the opposition,” Zeid said in a statement.

According to Fides news agency, the Catholic Church has further threatened to withdraw from the national dialogue if the forum is manipulated to give Joseph Kabila an opportunity to stand for re-election.

The dialogue on the signing of a preliminary political agreement on the General Elections date and on the current president’s candidacy in the elections was suspended on Sept 21 for 48 hours due to the violence that rocked capital Kinshasa.


ZAMBIA: Church Leaders Oppose Ministry on Guidance and Religious Affairs

zambia bioshops

LUSAKA, SEPTEMBER 23, 2016(CISA)-The Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) and the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) -the protestant churches’ body- have opposed the establishment of a new government Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs.

Explaining their stand, the two Church bodies said they found the creation of a new ministry of religious affairs unnecessary and imprudent.

“In view of the various financial and economic challenges our country is currently facing, we neither see the creation of the said ministry as a top priority nor a prudent decision. After all, we believe that Zambians want their country to be a democracy rather than a theocracy,” the religious leaders said in a statement.

“We believe that as churches and other faith communities, we have this far been able to exercise our God-given mandate and meaningfully contribute towards national development without having such a ministry. Therefore, both CCZ and ZCCB stand opposed to the creation of the above mentioned ministry,” the statement said.

The statement came after Patriotic Front (PF) Shibuyunji District Chairperson, Joseph Kasonde, had said on his statement that the newly created religious Ministry would help to regulate the church mother bodies in Zambia. He revealed that a number of mushrooming churches in Zambia have taken advantage of the vulnerable people in the communities.

He added that the freedom of worship and rights to assemble have been abused in Zambia due to the absence of a national administration in religious matters.

Lusaka times reported, September 19. The two church mother bodies through Most Rev. T-G Mpundu, ZCCB President and Rev. Dr. Alfred Kalembo, CCZ President, reassured their membership, that they would not be intimidated in exercising their God-given mission of being the conscience of the nation and exercising the prophetic ministry of calling for social justice following the example of Jesus Christ.

Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, last week appointed Reverand Godfridah Sumaili, a Pentecostal pastor as the new head of the ministry of religious affairs.

The Zambian parliament still has to ratify the appointment and the creation of the new ministry. He had however received support from Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) Executive Director, Reverend Pukuta Mwanza, on behalf of Pentecostal Churches who, last month, praised President Lungu’s initiative saying it would “promote Christian values and give more meaning to the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation.”

Former President Frederick Chiluba in 1997 established the Religious Affairs desk with Rev. Peter Chintala as Deputy Minister at Statehouse. The religious desk suffered because of unclear terms of reference and its inability to garner support and consensus from Churches. Eventually, it was quietly phased out, reported Vatican radio.