Outgoing Vatican Ambassador to Zambia and Malawi Gianfranco Gallone has said the Government and the Church should collaborate to improve the welfare of citizens especially the aged and other vulnerable groups.
Archbishop Gallone, who came to Zambia in 2019, has been transferred to Uruguay by the Vatican.
Speaking during his farewell at the Italian Embassy in Lusaka, Archbishop Gallone said the poor and marginalised in particular the aged should not be left behind.
The Pope’s envoy to Zambia and Malawi said the promotion of integral development of the poor and vulnerable is important.
Ambassador Gallone said the Catholic Church is always happy to collaborate with stakeholders in a bid to improve people’s lives.
“The local church is ready to make any efforts for the development of the country, to make the motto one Zambia one nation real, trying to eradicate poverty and to improve the solidarity knowing that one who lives in Christ cannot but be concerned with the poor. The Church hears the cries of the poor because they are members and they find solace in the Church. The Church in its nature can never be dispensed from the excise of charity as an activity organized by the faithful,” the senior diplomat and clergy said.
“Charity is not an action reserved to the church alone but rather all are called to cooperate for the development of each human being. Such project implies working to eliminate the structural classes of poverty and to promote the integral development of the poor as well as small daily acts of solidarity. In such projects the Catholic Church is happy to collaborate as she has always done and will continue to do in the hope of building a country more beautiful and vigorous where the care of the environment is an integral part of development as the Holy Father Pope Francis reminded us in his encyclical letter Laudauto Si. Love over-flowing with small gestures of mutual kind. Love for society and commitment to the common good are outstanding expressions of charity which affects not only relationships between individuals but also macro relationships, social, economic and political wise,” he continued.
Archbishop hailed the cordial relationship that exists between Zambia and the Vatican.
Speaking on behalf of Government, Minister of Green Economy Collins Nzovu said the state was grateful to the Church for providing social services such as health and education.
Selected Bishops from Zambia and Malawi attended the farewell alongside diplomats, priests, the religious, lay faithful and government officials attended the event.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Gallone on Tuesday met President Hakainde Hichilema at State House in Lusaka.
President Hichilema hailed Ambassador Gallone’s contribution to Zambia during his tour of duty.
“This afternoon at State House, we received a courtesy call from the outgoing Ambassador of the Holy See in Zambia, His Excellency Archbishop Gianfranco Gallone, the Apostolic Nuncio. We hailed the Nuncio for facilitating our visit to the Vatican in 2022, which had been our desire of many years, to meet The Holy Father, Pope Francis. His Holiness received us warmly and gave us his wise counsel. We appreciated the tireless work and significant contribution of the Catholic Church in areas of health, education and care for the vulnerable in our communities across Zambia. The Catholic Church is a key component of Zambian civil society and has always played an important role in Zambia’s democratic governance. In line with the Church’s advice and guidance, we will continue to embrace the spirit of dialogue and enhance respect of human rights. Ours is a strong partnership of service to the people of Zambia. We thanked Archbishop Gallone for the visit and wished him well on his next assignment,” President Hichilema remarked after meeting Ambassador Gallone.