Clergy in Zambian Archdiocese Dissociate from Defamatory Article about Catholic Archbishop

Archbishop Alick Banda of Zambia's Lusaka Archdiocese. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Members of the Clergy ministering in Zambia’s Lusaka Archdiocese have distanced themselves from a social media publication claiming that the Local Ordinary of the Zambian Metropolitan See, Archbishop Alick Banda, has become “a spokesperson for an opposition political party”.

Published Monday, September 26 under the title, “Catholic Priests speak out against Archbishop Alick Banda”, the article depicts the Zambian Archbishop as an emissary of the opposition, having departed “from his role as a shepherd of the flock of the Lord … and speaking about anything he thinks will discredit the ruling government.”

In a Tuesday, September 27 press release, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Lusaka dissociates Catholic Priests of the Metropolitan See from the defamatory publication, adding that he read the published content “with astonishment and disbelief” and Priests are “distraught by the said article”.

“I would like to inform the general public that this is not a collective effort or work of the Catholic Priests of the Archdiocese of Lusaka at all as alleged by the author of the said article,” Fr Solomon Tembo says in the one-page press release.

Fr. Tembo adds, “I doubt whether it is even the work of a Priest. Catholic Priests of Lusaka are equally concerned and distraught by the said article.”


As Vicar General, he goes on to say, “I express displeasure and discontentment, and on behalf of all Catholic Priests in the Archdiocese of Lusaka wish to (dissociate) ourselves from all sentiments and views expressed in the article circulating.”

In the September 26 publication, the author makes reference to the Vatican II document on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, and argues that Archbishop Banda is engaging in partisan politics, contrary to the Catholic Church directives. 

“This entails that the Church and its leadership cannot abandon the matters of social justice, especially matters affecting the poor,” the author says, and explains in reference to Gaudium et Spes, “To have the Archbishop anoint himself as spokesperson for the elite and former ruling party is to abdicate this mandate.”

According to the author, Archbishop Banda’s “recent rants that the government was encouraging homosexuality were all messages lifted up from opposition blogs.”

“An Archbishop should be above partisan politics and look at greater social justice and faith issues. We have tried to whisper to him but he does not listen,” the publication indicates.

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In the press release dissociating Priests of Lusaka Archdiocese from the controversial article, Fr. Tembo invokes Mary Mother of the Church to continue interceding for the Archdiocese against such accusations.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.