Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu’s statement is not reflective of the entire Catholic Church as it was not done in consultation with us says Chipata Catholic Auxiliary Bishop Benjamin Phiri.
The Chipata Auxiliary Bishop is the second Catholic Bishop after Bishop Alick Banda of Ndola diocese, to distance himself from the statement issued by Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu who declared Zambia a dictatorship.
Bishop Phiri stated that it was not appropriate to have a statement circulating as having been issued by Zambia Council of Catholic Bishops when the membership was not consulted.
“Whatever was said and is inappropriate does not represent the official position of the Catholic Church in Zambia. Whatever was said there we were not consulted… what is supposed to happen is that we are supposed to go to Lusaka sit down if we want to issue a particular statement,” Bishop Phiri said.
“That is the view of the one who issued the statement not the official position of the church, so I want this to be very clear.”
Bishop Phiri alleged that a few people with a private agenda are using the Churches name.
He went on to also refute the pastoral letter that was issued by the Archbishop in April noting that it too was not crafted in consultation with others.
“That too is not a position of the bishops, it was the position of an individual who issued the statement in the name of the institution or organisation. But it is not the correct position.”
He observed that it was for that reason that the dioceses across the country had not been reading the pastoral letter that was issued.
The Auxiliary Bishop emphasised that the Catholic Church was none partisan and would continue to work with the government of the day.