IT is shocking that the Zambian Episcopal Conference (ZEC) president Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu is disparaging the construction of the interdenominational Cathedral and the declaration of 18th October as the day of national prayers by President Edgar Lungu, the Independent Churches of Zambia (ICOZ) has charged.
And civil rights activist Brebner Changala has said Archbishop Mpundu has no spiritual right to dictate as to who has the mandate on the administration of the gospel,.
ICOZ president Bishop Paul Masupa said God did not only use priests and reverends to communicate to his people but could choose anyone among the flock to deliver his desire and messages.
Bishop Masupa said God used second president Frederick Chiluba to declare Zambia a Christian nation and had used President Lungu to rededicate and reaffirm the country as a Christian nation and it was spiritually incorrect for Archbishop Mpundu to rubbish the President’s actions.
He said the purpose of constructing the new Cathedral was to unite the churches and citizens in the country because the tabernacle was going to embrace all churches in the country.
He said Archbishop Mpundu should understand that God did not only speak through priests in fulfilling his word and it was therefore disappointing that Archbishop Mpundu could ridicule the construction of the Cathedral as a joke.
“Archbishop Mpundu’s ridiculing of the construction of the new Cathedral is not only shocking but disappointing. Archbishop Mpundu is the president of the Zambia Episcopal Conference and should be preaching peace and unity among Zambians. His language in criticizing the construction of the new interdenominational Cathedral and the declaration of 18th October as the day of national prayer and fasting has caused spiritual anguish because the tabernacle is meant to unite churches and Zambians in general. Anyway, the Catholic Church activiely participated in the ground breaking for the construction of the Cathedral and it therefore has the blessings of the church,” Bishop Masupa said.
And Mr Changala said Archbishop Mpundu was a man of high standing in the Catholic Church who should understand that the flock he was leading was of diverse economic, social and political interests to decree how Zambia as a Christian nation should be governed.
Commenting on Archbishop Mpundu’s disparaging remarks against the construction of the new Cathedral and the proclamation of 18th October as a day of national prayer and fasting, Mr Changala said the statement from the Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) president was ill-timed because Zambians were resolved to face their challenges as a united force.
He said Zambia was not going to resolve her challenges if church leaders were going to engage in demeaning the political leadership and ignoring the economic and political fundamentals that were at play in the economic and political administration of the country.
“I have a serious challenge that yet again, we are faced with the danger of losing an opportunity of resolving our economic, social and political problems. Instead of uniting and facing our challenges head-on as a united people, we are engaged in shadow boxing and debating who is holier than thou and who has the mandate on the administration of the gospel. Archbishop Mpundu is a man of high standing in the Catholic Church and leads the flock that has diverse interests socially, economically and politically and his message should be that of uniting them than that which is dividing. The timing for his disparaging remarks is unfortunate and we are not going to resolve our challenges through demeaning each other,” he said.
And State House has said the construction of the new interdenominational Cathedral would not be financed by Government but by Zambians as was done with the construction of the University of Zambia.
President Edgar Lungu’s press aide Amos Chanda told the Daily Nation yesterday that a committee of the clergy and lay people who were Christians has been constituted to raise the money for the construction of the new Cathedral.