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Church and state not in competition —President Hichilema


President Hakainde Hichilema says government should not be viewed as a competitor to the church but as mutual partner in serving the common interest of communities.

President Hichilema said this when he attended the episcopal consecration of the new Bishop of Chipata, Gabriel Msipu Phiri, as auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Diocese.

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“We were honoured to have been among hundreds of Catholic faithfuls in the episcopal consecration of the new Bishop of Chipata, His Grace Gabriel Msipu Phiri, as auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Chipata,” President Hichilema said.

He congratulated Bishop Phiri for his dedication to his priestly duties in encouraging, refreshing restoring and shepherding the weak.

President Hichilema said the church and government should work together to serve the common interest of the communities.

He said the new auxiliary Bishop had been leading by example to move in pursuit of holiness, without abandoning his pastoral walk, from the time he was ordained as a young priest, to the time of being consecrated as a Bishop today.

“We extolled the the Catholic Church and particularly, the Catholic Diocese of Chipata for their determination in steering matters of social justice, peace and unity and their solidarity and assistance for the poor in areas of healthcare education and food security,” Hichilema said.

This is according to President Hichilema’s official social media handle.

In his homily, Bishop Chisanga urged the newly ordained Auxiliary Bishop to serve everyone without segregation.

Pictures courtesy of State House Media

Bishop Phiri was on Saturday  consecrated during Mass at Chipata’s St. Anne Cathedral Grounds on the memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes.

He reminded the newly ordained Auxiliary Bishop to be humble.

“Let Jesus, the Lord and master who went down on his knees to wash the feet of his disciples be the model of your Episcopal service to this Diocese and to the Church at large.

“You indeed are called to be so disposed as to readily serve everyone without distinction or discrimination. No one should be too insignificant to draw your attention and no one should be too significant to draw your attention,” Bishop Chisanga preached.

He said  he expected  the new Bishop  to support the Chipata Diocesan Bishop George Lungu.

“As Auxiliary Bishop of Chipata Diocese, dear brother Monsignor Msipu provide the necessary support to the Diocesan Bishop Ambuye George in his pastoral responsibility over the portion of God here in the eastern regional of our nation,” he said.

Part of the congregation were Paramount Chiefs Kalonga Gawa Undi and Mpezeni four respectively, who shared the same platform in witnessing the consecration of the Bishop.

Paramount Chief Mpezeni  at the same event also welcomed the opposition parties that were free to attend the N’cwala ceremony without any form of harassment from anyone.

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