…. Challenges ZCCB Secretary General, Cleophas Lungu to tell the nation which church members were consulted
By Scoop Reporter
LUANSHYA-BASED Catholic faithful Nathan Chanda has challenged Zambia Council of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) Secretary General, Cleophas Lungu to tell the nation which Catholic members he consulted before coming up with a stance on Bill 10.
THE Catholic Bishops have maintained that Bill 10 must be withdrawn because the wholesale changes being proposed will radically change the nature of the Constitution and the country’s democracy.
In a message last week, that was to be aired in all Catholic-owned radio stations across the country, Zambia Council of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) Secretary General Cleophas Lungu says the Bishops are of the considered view that looking at the intention, process, content, and of the timing, those aspects have raised concerns with the Catholic Church in Zambia.
Fr. Lungu said in terms of the main objective, when the process started, the church’s understanding was that it would address the lacunas in the amended constitution of 2016 and that the document as it was passed and signed into law, needed some refinement.
But Mr. Chanda says being a member of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), he fully understands the church communication that takes place before a position is made on any issue before the council makes the announcement.
He has challenged Fr. Lungu to justify his stance on Bill number 10, arguing that the position of the ZCCB may represent the voice of some Bishops but not that of each diocese in Zambia is in agreement.
He has warned the church to guard against people with hidden agenda from bringing confusion and draw the Catholic Church into partisan politics.
He says he is cognizant that no small Christian community or cell groupings and lay groupings within the Church at deanery or diocesan level were consulted and has challenged Fr. Lungu to come out in the open and state who was consulted over the purported consensus which has been communicated regarding Bill 10.
“It is sad and God is watching what we are doing. Am compiled to speak about these issues as though the Government is at war with the Church, when in fact the PF and its Government has a very good working relationship with the Catholic Church and am a proud Catholic youth.
“We know the social teachings of the Church and what I know is that the Church starts it’s consultations from the Small Christian Community “ifitente” for any decisions.” Mr. Chanda said.
He says he is of the view that the Church must maintain the principal of the Holy Apostolic Church founded on truth.
“Let the Church be united; devoid of politics with the way it is governed to avoid making the impression that government is fighting the Catholic or that the PF is anti-Catholic especially that Father Cleopas Lungu’s tenure of office as Secretary General of the ZCCB has even expired,” he said.