A horde of Catholic lay group women at Saint Charles Lwanga (Regiment) Parish in Lusaka are planning to protest naked against the proposed transfer of their Parish Priest Father Philip Phiri.
The women and other parishioners have accused a clique of priests of having done a ‘state capture’ on Telesphore Mpundu, whose decisions they allegedly influence.
The members alleged that the Lusaka Archbishop has grown old and is becoming senile, hence some priests have taken advantage to humiliate others and making wanton decisions on behalf of Telesphore Mpundu.
According to sources, the Catholic church in Lusaka was allegedly not being run by Telesphore Mpundu, but by some ‘unscrupulous’ and selfish priests.
The women are planning to protest and disrupt mass this Sunday (tomorrow) because they are not happy with the transfer of Father Phiri and his assistant.
“Father Phiri is a very good preacher who has managed to motivate and rejuvenate people’s faith and parishioners who had backslidden have come back because of his articulate, creative and practical teachings. We are ready not to have mass on Sunday because we are not happy about what is happening to our priest. The Catholic Church is very big here in Lusaka and such transfers are the ones that will cause Catholics to take matters into their own hands to save the situation. The Catholic church is not like these small make-shift and briefcase churches,” one parishioner said.
According to information gathered at the church on Friday, an angry mood engulfed the church premises as parishioners found kept murmuring about the matter since it has not been announced officially to the congregation.
Father Philip Phiri who was brought in from Chawama barely four months ago will be transferred to another parish in Chipata Compound and no reasons have been given for the movement. Father Phiri took over from Father Lubunda who is now at Roma Parish in the same capacity.
“We want the Archbishop to personally come and address the parishioners and reverse the decision to transfer Father Phiri. The priest has only been here for four months and we as parishioners love him so much. The same people who have ‘captured’ the archbishop caused the transfer of Father Lubunda. Father Lubunda worked very hard here on many projects including a modern building being rented by Apex Medical University,” another parishioner said.