Archbishop of Lusaka, Telesphore Mpundu, has disbanded the Chainama Emmanuel Community prayer group from holding activities such as devotions, pilgrimages, faith healing and baptizing people in Lusaka.
Archbishop Mpundu says there is no record in his office to show that the Chainama Emmanuel Community has been approved by the Church or his office nor is there a copy of its statutes duly approved as required by the Church Law.
This is contained in a letter that has been issued to all the Catholic parishes in Lusaka by Archbishop Mpundu.
He said the prayer group led by Henry Mwansa, who is a parishioner at Kaunda Square Catholic Church, is a fraud which is, therefore, a source of needless but considerable confusion among the faithful in the diocese.
The Archbishop explained that Catechists, catechisers, prayer leaders, lectors and extraordinary ministers among others are selected by the Christian community and commissioned by the local bishop to perform their duties.
He said Mr Mwansa on the other hand conducts public worship in form of prayers, preaching, healing and deliverance sessions and teaches Catholic doctrine in the name of the Church though unofficially but on his own authority.
The Archbishop further stated that Mr Mwansa has admitted baptising four people including a Jehovah’s Witness and perhaps he continues to baptize people without any regard for Church regulations governing the administration of baptism.
He noted that at the Chainama Emmanuel Community has no room for deepening people’s faith and forming them in view of enabling them to manage difficult lives, sickness, suffering and death in the light of the faith.
The Archbishop said the focal point of the prayer group is the healing of diseases and deliverance from demons and problems of all kinds.
Archbishop Mpundu stated that by emphasizing healing, deliverance and problem shooting, the community promises its adherents paradise on earth, thereby eliminating the role of the cross, its central place in the Catholic faith and salvific power.
The Archbishop has, however, forbidden Mr Mwansa to rejoin the Charismatic Renewal Group because of his strong bias for healing and deliverance prayers.
He has also forbidden him from preaching at any Catholic Prayer session or liturgy, adding that he shall not held any leadership position at any level in the Church.
Archbishop Mpundu has instructed Mr Mwansa to reconnect with his Small Christian Community (SCC) and the Kaunda Square Parish where he will report to the parish priest to discuss his reintegration to the parish.
He has since given Mr Mwansa twelve months probation period before being readmitted to penance and the Holy Eucharist on Easter Vigil next year.