FULL TEXT: Catholic Professionals Network Statement In Defence Of Bishops

Catholic Professionals Network of Zimbabwe statement in solidarity with the Catholic Bishops of Zimbabwe

1. The Catholic Professionals Network of Zimbabwe is a nonpartisan grouping of lay Catholic professionals who practise their vocations throughout the country.

2. We received with comfort and satisfaction the ZCBC pastoral letter of 14 August 2020. The letter follows the long, proud, pre and post-independence Catholic tradition of speaking out in support and defence of the large majority of Zimbabweans, many of whom are disadvantaged, marginalized and seemingly powerless.

3. The Bishops as our Shepherds are duty-bound to call out those in authority in situations of widespread poverty, endemic corruption, human rights violations, poor health delivery especially in times of a huge pandemic, and political instability and uncertainty.

4. When they voice their concerns, as they did on 14 August 2020, they do so collectively, not individually, and speak as Shepherds of the very many Catholics in the country, and on behalf of all those negatively affected by the problems and vices that too often and for too long afflict our beloved nation Zimbabwe. They too are entitled to express themselves freely, without fear or favour. Their voice is rooted in the Christian faith and draws from the Social Teachings of the Church and is based on the Holy Bible itself.

5. The contribution of the Catholic Church and indeed many other churches, in Zimbabwe’s development and to the cause to the black majority of people of this country admits of no doubt. This includes the numerous mission schools, hospitals, clinics, nurse training institutions, colleges and universities. Many interventions in humanitarian relief work carried out directly or through the development, agency support by or affiliated to the Church locally or internationally. Indeed in terms of education and health, many of the current leaders in all spheres of life including in the present government, are beneficiaries.

6. We also note with some dismay the statement issued by the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Honourable Mrs Monica Mutsvangwa on 15 August 2020. The statement appears to be an angry and rushed response to the temperate and clear call to government made via the Pastoral letter of 14 August 2020. We particularly and categorically condemn the very misplaced and unwarranted attack on the person of Archbishop Robert Ndlovu, whose ethnicity is needlessly brought to the fore and is singled out for a venomous attack as if the pastoral letter was his own initiative or creation. It simply is not. ZCBC speaks collectively, and a President there for the time being, unlike perhaps a political party President, does not wield disproportionate power and authority over his brother Bishops, at all. They speak and act collegially and more importantly, their voice is the voice of the people. It is the voice of God.

7. Finally, we call upon the government to cease or desist from any and all retributive actions against ordinary citizens, journalists, political activists, political parties, civil society and the Church. Instead, we call upon it, in addition to discharging its mandate for the common good, to embrace the Comprehensive National Settlement Framework Proposal to achieve National Convergence, Unity and Progress so that we, together, as Zimbabweans, mould the Zimbabwe We Want.

God bless our country

Catholic Professionals Network of Zimbabwe

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One Comment on “FULL TEXT: Catholic Professionals Network Statement In Defence Of Bishops

  1. Catholic Bishops sing for their supper. The sanctions are hurting the povo fatally in thousands but they keep quiet yet the land that was patriotically recovered from the oppressing whiteman belonged to the masses. Wakeup Catholic Bishops and shout against the evil and oppressive sanctions than pretend to sympathise with us the povo when you deliberately betray us by letting your masters regain the our heritage. Hamunyare! Zvirango zvemasanctions zvikabiswa tinopona uye tinonyatsodya huchi nemukaka muno munyika yedu yechipikirwa. Imi nyaraiwo mhani you to repeat how Henry Moffat and David Livingstone used Christianity to pacify the povo and conquer Zimbabwe – Never again muri zvimbwa sungata nhai.

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