Indigenous churches distance themselves from the Catholic Bishop’s letter

by Harare Post Reporter

ZIMBABWE Indigenous Inter-denominational Council of Churches (ZIICC) has distanced itself from the Catholic Bishops pastoral letter and said they don’t share the same view with the Bishops.

This was said by ZIICC spokesperson, Reverend Andrew Wutawunashe yesterday during a press conference.

“We take strong exception to and categorically dissociate ourselves from calls by certain religious leaders to march against the Government and to reignite conflicts and wounds of the past to heal us, from which God answered our prayers by bringing political leaders to the negotiating table where reconciliation was achieved. .Please do not reverse the good that God had done,” said Rev. Wutaunashe.

Reverend Wutaunashe also said it was wrong for the Bishops to call on the people of Zimbabwe  to revive old grudges.

“Our response as God’s servants should not be to call people to revive old grudges, but rather to urge people to go forward in peace. ZIICC also called on Zimbabweans to reject irresponsible calls to protest marches and boycotts aimed at provoking violence and worsening the nation’s economic challenges,” added Reverend Wutaunashe.  

The ZIICC spokesperson described the Bishops’ pastoral letter as nothing, but propaganda meant to paint a picture of the Government as intolerant and corrupt.

“To this end, a relentless propaganda war bent on painting a picture of the Government as intolerant, corrupt and violating human rights with no regard to the rule of law, continues to be pursued- a picture that has relentlessly been played to the gallery of the international community with the intent of persuading them to maintain the economic sanctions which have brought untold suffering to the poor people of this nation.

“These tactics, have also, from the outset, involved extreme provocation of the elected Government to goad it into reactions that would, if succumbed to, serve to justify the false picture being painted,” said Rev Wutawunashe.

Reverend Wutaunashe also said that the Pastoral letter was a distraction from the good work the Government is doing in developing the nation.

“Clear effort has been made, at best to distract attention from the sterling, diligent and very visible efforts to develop and take the nation forward which the Government has been pursuing, or at worst, to sabotage these efforts,” he said. 

Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi, who is also the ZICC’s patron, said this is the time for people to come together to develop their nation instead of apportioning blame on each other.

“As true shepherds, let us encourage our sheep to be productive rather than destructive. Right from the beginning, God urged man to be productive. Good shepherds should therefore urge their sheep to work towards building our country,” said Bishop Mutendi.

A pastor in the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM)  who spoke to this publication on condition of respect the country’s leadership.

“The Bishops’ letter lacked respect. It was an attack on the country’s leadership because it exaggerated the Zimbabwean situation. Romans 13 vs 2 to 5 compels everyone to submit to the ruling authorities, but it seems the Bishops have forgotten this verse,” said the pastor

Madzibaba Enock of Johane Masowe eChishanu said they don’t share the same sentiments with the Bishops and went further to accuse the Bishops of being political pawns of the agents of regime change in Zimbabwe.

“Its clear that the Bishops are now acting as mouthpieces of the country’s distractors. The Bishops spoke as opposition leaders not as men of God. The duties of the church is to pray for the country’s leadership and its only God who can rebuke the leaders. We as Johane Masowe, we don’t share the same views with the Bishops,” said Madzibaba Enock.

The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops recently released a letter in which they insinuated that they are gross human rights abuses, among other vices in the country.

However, the Government dismissed the letter as nothing but “evil message (that) reeks with all the vices that have perennially hobbled the progress of Africa”