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Women Can Overcome Inferiority Complex by Church Participation, Catholic Bishop in Malawi

Credit: ECM

Women are suffering from inferiority complex for being sidelined in Church activities, the Catholic Bishop of Malawi’s Dedza Diocese has said and called for their active participation in Church.

In his address at the ongoing meeting of the Catholic Women Organization (CWO) in Malawi, Bishop Peter Adrian Chifukwa acknowledged the contribution of members of the women's group to the Church and encouraged them to keep the good work despite challenges they face.

“The Church is doing very well because of the contribution by CWO. I encourage them to keep up,” Bishop Chifukwa has been quoted as saying at CWO National Annual General Meeting (AGM) in a Friday, December 16 report.

The Malawian Bishop added, “Women are oppressed in various ways; so this (AGM) is an opportunity for them to see how they can overcome their inferiority complex and take on a complex that can help them solve the problems.”

He went on to acknowledge with appreciation the place of women in the Church saying, “Women are the key players of the Church. If we look at their families, the community and the country, women have a big role to play.”

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Bishop Chifukwa further encouraged women to make good use of natural family planning as a way of birth control in order to give birth to children they can easily raise.

“Children need to be taken care of; don’t give birth to a child if you are not ready to take care of them. It feels sad to see children in the villages who are suffering because of poverty; so we should all bear children who we can afford to raise,” he said.

The AGM meeting was officially opened on Thursday, December 16 with Holy Mass that was presided over by Bishop Chifukwa, with Bishop Montfort Sitima of the Catholic Diocese of Mangochi being among the concelebrants.

The AGM meeting that is being held at Bembeke Teacher’s Training College in the Diocese of Dedza aims at challenging women to take care of Christian families, especially families that experiencing various threats.

Bishop Sitima spoke widely on the year’s theme, “Caring for Christian Families especially those who are at various risks/threats following the example of Saint Joseph.” 

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In his address, Bishop Sitima called upon women to live the Catholic faith by honoring the sacrament of Matrimony.

“We should realize that the sacrament of marriage is a gift from God, hence a need to make it exemplary to others. If you are called to marriage life, make sure your lifestyle should not discourage others from getting married,” Bishop Sitima said.

The Local Ordinary of Malawi’s Mangochi Diocese added, “I know that issues of male dominance in the families, domestic violence, and sexual abuse are no longer news, hence a need to unite and fight against it.”

On his part, the National Pastoral Coordinator in Malawi, Fr. Henry Chinkanda, used Pope Francis’ message on Synod to encourage the women to always work in unity by fostering collaboration in their daily undertakings.

“Pope Francis is calling on each one of us to live in communion, create space for everyone to participate and be at the service of the mission of the Church,” Fr. Chinkanda said.

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Madam Juliana Lunguzi who was invited as guest of honor at the function that is set to end Sunday, December 19, encouraged women to be courageous in reporting cases of child abuse and gender based violence.

“Child abuse is one of the dangers we are facing in our families, so women should always voice out whenever they see violence of any form; don’t say because this one is a bread winner, I can’t report her no; speak out because I have noted that may children and women are suffering in silence,” Madam Lunguzi said.

Another issue that was discussed in the meeting included the use of social media by women as a way of embracing exemplary life.

At the meeting, the National chairlady for Malawi’s CWO, Lucy Vokhiwa, also encouraged women in the Southern African nation to participate in tree planting in their respective Dioceses during the rainy season as a way of taking care of the environment.