Catholic Bishop in Zambia Cautions Priests against Allowing Politicians to Speak in Church

Bishop Benjamin Phiri of Zambia's Ndola Diocese. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Bishop of Zambia’s Catholic Diocese of Ndola has directed members of the Clergy in his Episcopal See to refrain from allowing politicians to address worshippers in the premises of the church.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa Wednesday, August 10, Bishop Benjamin Phiri has said that politicians addressing members of the congregation “in the name of greeting them during Mass … is not permitted at all.”

“Whenever the politicians visit our churches, they should be treated like any other ordinary Christian coming to worship,” Bishop Phiri has said.

At no time should politicians “be accorded a chance to speak to the gathered faithful during Mass at the pulpit nor should they be given an audience outside Mass to speak to the parishioners within the parish premises,” the Zambian Catholic Bishop directs in his statement dated August 8.

He emphasizes the need for church premises to be maintained as places of “worship and reverence of our Creator” by keeping off “whatever political pronouncements our brothers and sisters from the political sphere wish to make known to the public.”


“I further admonish all the Priests (especially Parish Priests and their respective Parish leaders) to strictly adhere to my directive without fail,” Bishop Phiri says.

He adds, “I am aware that some Priests out of courtesy have, in the past, accorded an opportunity to politicians to speak to the gathered faithful in the name of greeting them during Mass. This is not permitted at all.”

The 63-year-old Bishop who has been at the helm of Ndola Diocese since August 2020 further directed, “All the people must be free to come and worship without the worry of the environment nor atmosphere whatsoever!”

He has called upon Christians “to work for unity in the one Church of Christ as we all belong to the one family of Jesus Christ our Savior.”

“Our Churches must stand as a sign of unity,” the Catholic Bishop who started his Episcopal Ministry as the Auxiliary Bishop of Zambia’s Chipata Diocese in April 2011 has said. 

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Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.