The Zambian Cleric insists that the Church remains “non-partisan when it comes to politics” and members of the Clergy in the Southern African nation “are not there to tell our members to belong to this political party.”
“We believe in the tenets of democracy that guarantees that individual members of churches are free to participate in the governance process of their country by supporting the candidate of their choice,” says the Lusaka-based ZCCB Secretary General.
He clarifies, “Donations are always welcome. For example, the Catholic Church runs a lot of hospitals, orphanages as well as social service. We would rather that the politicians give and donate directly to those charitable causes rather than giving the Church leadership.”
“They are welcome in terms of responding to very visible and relevant needs like the orphans and vulnerable. If someone donates in order to look after the sick, morally speaking, there is nothing wrong; but not to give to a church so that members vote for a person, that is immoral,” Fr. Lungu clarifies.
In the December 3 report, Fr. Lungu also urges members of the Clergy in the country to “remember that our principal training obliges us not to declare our personal inclinations in public in any way at all.”
“We leaders in the church must be non-partisan, must be embracing because in the same community, the Catholic Church, you will find members from all the political parties and we should be there to provide pastoral guidance,” he says.
He continues, “We should be there to provide ethical guidance and we should all be there to provide guidance for them to do the right thing. That is to engage in politics of development, politics that are democratic and politics that enhance the national cause of transformation.”
The ZCCB official further says that in case a Priest endorses a political leader, that should be taken as his “own opinion and not the position of the Church.”
A Priest endorsing a political leader “is un-Catholic; that is uncalled for and should be taken as personal not as the official position of the church,” Fr. Lungu emphasizes in the December 3 report.
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