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Malawi’s Media Practitioners Cautioned against “unpleasant behavior” ahead of Installation

Archbishop-Elect of Lilongwe Archdiocese, George Desmond Tambala. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Members of the Press in Malawi planning to cover the upcoming installation of the new Archbishop for Lilongwe Archdiocese, George Desmond Tambala, have been asked to maintain good conduct especially during the Liturgical celebration.

In a Friday, November 12 letter obtained by ACI Africa, the communications coordinator of Malawi’s Lilongwe Archdiocese acknowledges complaints the office has received concerning inappropriate behavior of some media practitioners during Holy Mass.

“There has been an outcry from many liturgy participants resonated by the Archdiocesan authorities about the unpleasant conduct of some reporters, photographers and other media related individuals during a church function,” Fr. Louis Chikanya says in the letter that was addressed to media practitioners.

Fr. Chikanya adds, “Every Catholic should know that at a church function, where there is holy Mass, our priority is the Mass; our attention and focus is on the Mass.”

The Holy Father appointed Bishop Tambala as the Local Ordinary of Lilongwe Archdiocese on October 15. 

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The installation of the Archbishop-elect has been scheduled to take place on Saturday, November 27. 

The announcement for the installation of the Malawian Archbishop-elect was made by the Archdiocesan Administrator of Lilongwe in liaison with the steering committee of the Archdiocesan celebrations.

In the November 12 letter, Fr. Chikanya says that every participant in the celebration of the Eucharist is expected to keenly follow every aspect of Liturgy without any disturbance.

He further says that all the reporters, photographers and other media related personnel henceforth observe descent dressing at all liturgical functions.

He goes on to caution reporters against unnecessary movements especially in front of the altar and sanctuary, saying, “All are asked to prepare their equipment in time to avoid disturbances during the ceremony.”

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He also addresses the issue of punctuality and directs that media practitioners be at the venue of the function on time to prepare their equipment.

“The function will not wait for the media to start, nor will it allow the group to start throwing and spreading cables and planting and mounting speakers while the celebration is on,” he says, and adds, “This causes a lot of disturbance to the praying congregation.”

The Archdiocesan official says that all designated reporters and other related media personnel participating in the coverage process will be given identification cards, which are to be returned at the end of the function.