Saturday, March 27, 2010

Zambia: Pope given a 7 days ultimatum to respond to a Petition on Archbishop Mpundu

SOME members of the Catholic Church who petitioned Pope Benedict XVI to remove Lusaka Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu as head of the church in Zambia have given the Vatican a seven-day ultimatum to respond to their request.

Group spokesperson Edmond Zulu said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that if the Pope fails to discipline Bishop Mpundu within seven days, they will then go ahead and demonstrate at the Vatican Embassy in Lusaka.

Mr Zulu said his group is still saddened and disappointed with Bishop Mpundu’s alleged misconduct.

He said the concerned Catholic Church members will not relent until the archbishop is removed from his position as head of the Catholic Church in Zambia.

“I spoke to the Apostolic Nuncio over the weekend and he assured me that the Pope has acknowledged receipt of our petition, but we have decided to give the Vatican one-week of which to act but failure to which we will go ahead and demonstrate at the Vatican Embassy in Zambia,” he said.

Mr Zulu said the concerned Catholic Church members are waiting to hear from the Vatican before deciding on the way forward.

“This time around we have decided to go and petition the Pope through his representative Apostolic Nuncio because we want to create sanity in our Church. All the parishes in Lusaka have indicated that they will take part in the demonstrations,” he said.

Last week, some concerned Catholic Church members petitioned the Pope to remove Bishop Mpundu as head of the Church in Zambia for allegedly tarnishing its image.

In a letter of petition presented to the Vatican Ambassador to Zambia, the concerned church members from Chainda and Kamanga parishes called for the immediate removal of Bishop Mpundu for allegedly issuing alarming statements in the press.

They also called on the Pope to issue a public apology on behalf of the Catholic Church over Archbishop Mpundu’s stand towards Government.

The concerned church members asked the Vatican to restore the relationship that the Catholics and Government used to enjoy over the years to enhance development in the country.
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