Catholic Diocese of Ndola Bishop Benjamin Phiri has said some Catholics in politics have been a very big disappointment when given an opportunity to serve the people.
And Bishop Phiri said people should not kill each other because of differences in political affiliations.
Bishop Phiri, a Canon Lawyer, observed that some Catholic politicians tend to abandon God and their Catholic faith when serving in various portfolios.
Speaking during the Silver Jubilee celebration of St. Antonio Fasani Catholic Church in Ndola, Bishop Phiri said politicians should utilise their authority to influence the community with their faith positively.
He charged that some people were engaging in politics for personal benefits.
“Now, the thing for many of us is to belong to that political party so that when that political party is in power we can chew with that political party. We even fight and kill each other over politics. Just know that God does not appear anywhere in that situation but you are here (Church) and want to receive the Blessed Sacrament. No. If we are reconciled with God we are going to live peacefully with each other regardless of the faith profession, regardless of the tribe, regardless of the political affiliation. When we are here (Church) we are just children of God and we live in peace with each other and we celebrate before God. That is the conversion that we want,” Bishop Phiri preached.
The Bishop of Ndola warned that political power was temporary.
“You, our Catholic politicians, I am talking about the politicians now, you, our Catholic politicians, are a very big disappointment many times because when you get into that little position that you have temporarily, you forget God. Manje bakakuchosapo afterwards when you are no longer in that position you start trekking back to Church and saying that you believe, you believe what? You do not believe anything. When you had the opportunity to influence the community with your faith positively you did not do it. You chose to go with those who acted as if there is no God. Then after enjoying yourself for five or ten years, some of you have been in politics for a long time, fifteen, 20 years because you jump from one ship to another. You jump into this one, when you see this ship is sinking you jump into the next one and you remain afloat in politics but all that time you have never done anything useful for the community except for your cronies and then you come here (Church) and say you are celebrating 25 years, of what? You see this is the issue that we need to sit and think about,” Bishop Phiri said.
He said people should understand that the Church is not there to help politicians to get into power or get out of power.
“Think about the faith, the Church is there to help people come close to God and to help God come close to the people. The Church is not there to help you as a politician to get into power or get out of power. It is not like that. We are here to serve God and the people of God. So if you start praying when you are in the opposition so that you can use the Church to get into power and then do what you like, you are a very sorry and sad person because you are neither here nor there. Your judgment is pronounced already unless you change. So my dear priests and the community I am inviting you to a genuine conversion. The time will come when we have to account for our lives,” Bishop Phiri said.
Bishop Phiri further told the congregation at St. Antonio Fasani Catholic Church that the Jubilee celebration should help Christians to evaluate their faith in God.
The Bishop said the 25th anniversary celebration of the Church should come with growth in faith among Christians at Pamodzi Parish.