Pressure By Christians Forces ECM To Condemn Chilima’s Use Of Catholic Church To Advance His Political Agenda: Denies Endorsing Him

Chilima told not to abuse Catholic Church for his political gains

Thousands of the Roman Catholic Faithfuls who were against the tendency by  Saulos Chilima to be using the catholic church to advance his political agenda , with  some threatened to abandon the church if it continued giving him the platform which is contrary to the Philosophy of church of being turned into a political tool  can smile now, as the EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE OF MALAWI (ECM) has released a STATEMENT, which has condemned the acts by Chilima to abuse the Church, and denies endorsing him or anyone else in the run to 2019 elections.

The Statement outlines that while it encourages their faithful to take part in political activities, it  reminded priests, religious men and women, catechists, heads of our institutions etc, to refrain from making utterances or doing things that can justifiably be perceived as advancing partisan politics. For the same reason, the Catholic Bishops in Malawi, cannot and shall not support or endorse any particular politician or political party.

Here is the statement in full:

Friday 29th June, 2018

“Blessed are the peacemakers” (Mt. 5:9)

We the Catholic Bishops in Malawi, having received reports from our various commissions and departments during our Plenary Session of June 2018 concerning the forthcoming tripartite elections and considering what we have observed over the last few months regarding the same elections, judge it necessary to state the following:

  1. Once again we urge all eligible Malawians to register and vote in the forthcoming
    elections. Voting in such elections is not only a right but also an obligation of every
    eligible Malawian. In addition, we call upon all those charged with the duty of managing the said elections to ensure that the entire electoral process is properly managed so that we have truly free, fair and credible elections.
  2. We call upon all Malawians to pray for peaceful elections and cooperate with God in
    achieving this by desisting from utterances, actions or inactions which can cause violence. Malawi has been blessed with peace since its inception as a State. We all have a duty before God and our Nation to ensure peaceful coexistence at all times but especially now as we prepare for the forthcoming elections.

  3. As well articulated in the Social Doctrine of the Church and as we have said it before, we
    encourage Catholics to take an active role in politics which includes seeking political power at all levels of the national governance structure. “A good Catholic meddles in politics, offering the best of himself, so that those who govern can govern” (Pope Francis, Homily during morning Mass, l6th September, 2013), while doing so, we remind priests, religious men and women, catechists, heads of our institutions etc, to refrain from making utterances or doing things that can justifiably be perceived as advancing partisan politics. For the same reason, we the Catholic Bishops in Malawi, cannot and shall not support or endorse any particular politician or political party.

We entrust our country and the entire electoral process of the 2019 tripartite elections to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen of Peace and Seat of Wisdom.

Most Rev. Thomas Luke Msusa
CHAIRMAN – EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE OF MALAWI

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