Fr Luonde advises Lungu against scolding the Church
By Staff Reporter
FR Richard Luonde has cautioned President Edgar Lungu to avoid scolding the Church or else the institution will laugh the loudest, eventually.
On Sunday, President Lungu said he was not ashamed to challenge the clergy that felt holier than others.
The President indicated that having a big cathedral or a synagogue did not make some Churches bigger than others.
President Lungu made the remarks at Christ the King International Church in Ndola’s Nkwazi township.
“I have been touched by the sermon this morning that we should worship God in truth and spirit. I will challenge the Zambian Church,” President Lungu said.
“I am saying this because on 1st May 2019 during Labour Day celebration, as we were talking to each other with some labour leaders, one leader said the Church was not at the National Dialogue Forum and I said which church? This is because some people think they are the Church. The Church is all of us who are believers in Christ.”
He added that those who thought and wanted: “to us because they are the Church, we are in Church here now.”
“I challenge those who think because they have ultra-modern buildings, synagogues and cathedrals and believe they are the Church, they cannot be the Church; the church is all of us as a community,” he said.
President Lungu added that people should stop thinking holier than others.
“So, let us stop feeling holier than others….” Noted President Lungu.
Fr Luonde, who is Socialist Party (Zambia) spokesperson observed that it was unbecoming for President Lungu to rebuke the Church, in relation to attendance of the just-ended PF-dominated National Dialogue Forum (NDF).
“Watching the President saying no one is holier than…. When people belong to the Church and belong to groupings like the Council of Churches in Zambia, Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia, the Zambia Council of Catholic Bishops; these groupings are there to give guidance,” Fr Luonde said.
“He shouldn’t forget that the three Church mother bodies have the largest numbers in terms of membership. What the President should do is not to divide the Church. If there are people from the Church who attended the National Dialogue Forum, it was their choice. For those from the three Church mother bodies who stayed away from the Forum, they heeded the instruction of their mother bodies not to be present. If anything, when you want to have dialogue, accept even the people that you deem to be foolish, to be biased.”
He said if the NDF was successful in its undertaking, “so be it.”
“But at the end of the day, Zambians will be the ones who will say it was a correct undertaking or not,” Fr Luonde noted.
The Chingola-based clergyman stressed that President Lungu should concentrate on the country failing and falling economy, instead of ‘politicking’ in Church buildings.
“What the President should concentrate on is to revive the economy of Zambia instead of playing politics where he shouldn’t. He should not play with the Church because at the end of the day, the Church will laugh the loudest,” cautioned Fr Luonde.
“What the President should do is to listen to the voices from the opposition political parties, voices from the civil society and the voices of ordinary Zambians.”