MAY I express my disappointment with the Roman Catholic Church, in particular the Good Shepherd parish which last Sunday allowed a political campaign to take place right within its own premises during Mass.
I don’t care if the Church invites the Republican President to attend its services for reasons best known to itself but then when the pulpit is used to campaign for a particular individual of a certain political party then it becomes a sin of the worst kind no matter what denomination is involved.
What I saw and heard on that Sunday is mind boggling where after President Hakainde Hichilema had sung and spoken, the church leadership went further to present to the congregation the United Party for National Development (UPND) candidate in the forthcoming Kabwata Constituency by-elections. This is dastardly wrong and panders to political crusading.
Worse than that, it was an insult to the members of the Good Shepherd parish who may not all be supporters of the UPND.
The church is after all an aggregation of different people with different affiliations who should not be subjected to a single political ideology.
It is sad that some churches have allowed themselves to be used as political tools by some uncanny political parties and leaders at the expense of the Gospel.
We saw this happening even in the previous regime of the Patriotic Front where some so-called men of God turned their congregations into cadres for certain political outfits. This is evil and immoral.
I had wished for the Good Shepherd Church going by its name to be a non-partisan body and if it wanted to really become political it should have invited all the political leaders and their candidates rather than just picking on UPND.
Is this not being partisan no matter what defence the Parish priest and his chairperson may want to say in defence?
I hope the Archbishop will rise to the occasion and censure the leadership at Good Shepherd and also instruct all other parishes under his charge not to entertain political activities at their premises.
This should apply to all church denominations. In fact, it is time the Church separated itself from secular politics for them to be effective in condemning wrongs.
REV ALFRED SAYILA,
Political leader, former lecturer and journalist.