SAINT Ignatius Catholic Church priest Charles Chilinda has become a victim of abuse from his superior, Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu, only because he was associating himself with President Edgar Lungu’s religious programmes such as the construction of the National House of Prayer, civil rights activist Brebner Changala has charged.
Mr Changala said it was ‘‘wrong’’ for the archbishop to have publicly ndemned the construction of a National House of Prayer.
Mr Changala, a Catholic, said the only crime Fr Chilinda committed as far as Archbishop Mpundu was concerened was to associate himself with President Lungu who had seen the spiritual need for the country to have a National House of Prayer and a day of National Prayer and Fasting.
He told the Daily Nation yesterday that Archbishop Mpundu seemed not to have approved President Lungu’s spiritual insight of building a national House of Prayer but advised that the Catholic clergy should have found ‘‘decent and administrative means’’ of dealing with the matter than choosing harangue Fr Chilinda.
Mr Changala said Archbishop Mpundu had many a time by engaged himself in many battles with different kinds of politicians.
“Disgracing an ordained priest publicly is totally unacceptable and unchristian. If Fr Chilinda was wrong in accepting to serve a committee overseeing the construction of a National House of Prayer, there are administrative procedures in the Catholic Church of correcting him.
‘‘But as things stand, the only crime for which Fr Chilinda is being disgraced is that he is associating himself with the religious projects of President Lungu.
‘‘Archbishop Mpundu is using his office to publicly bully Fr Chilinda on a matter that should have been resolved in the church without apprehension,” Mr Changala said.
Mr Changala said Archbishop Mpundu needed prayers from all Zambians including the tabernacle he was against and advised that the bishop should follow the footsteps of Pope Francis who was ‘‘glowing with humility and servant-hood’’.
Mr Changala said it was ironical that the bishop was censuring Fr Chilinda at a time when Pope Francis was recently in Africa where he embraced all religions, urging them to love one another.