Thursday, December 27, 2007

Zambia : Catholic Church to sue splinter group

The Catholic Church in Zambia on Wednesday announced that it will take legal action against a splinter church group formed on Christmas day.

The clergy of the Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) which speaks for all catholic bishops in the country, said it would take legal action to stop the new church from associating with or using the Catholic Church’s name.

ZEC spokesman Father Paul Samasumo, said the splinter group should find its own name and not confuse followers of the church by using the same name.

The splinter church called the Catholic Apostolic National Church of Zambia was formed a day ago by former priests in the main Catholic Church.

The interim Arch bishop of the splinter group Luciano Mbewe said at the launch of the new church, that the church had been formed to allow its priests to marry unlike the main church which demands celibacy.

But Father Samasumo said the splinter group would create confusion if it was allowed to use a similar name hence the decision by the ZEC to take the matter to court.

The government has meanwhile described the formation of the new church as “retrogressive.”

Chief government spokesman, Mike Mulongoti said on Wednesday that the splinter group’s decision to form a new church will not promote unity in the Catholic Church.
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