Monday, June 30, 2008

Jesuits Are In Peril!

Several Catholic priests have been assaulted by supporters of Zimbabwe’s ruling party and at least one house belonging to the Church has been burned down, a Jesuit spokesman said. St Anthony’s mission house in Zaka, in the Masvingo Diocese, was home to a few priests before it was destroyed in the violence that preceded the country’s June 27 runoff presidential election, said Jesuit Father Oscar Wermter, who runs the order’s Zimbabwean communications office in the capital of Harare.

Many priests in rural areas as well as at least one in Harare have been assaulted in the crackdown against the opposition to President Robert Mugabe, Fr Wermter said today. “Very serious threats” also have been made against priests and other Church workers, he said. Some parishioners have been “put under pressure to attend ruling party rallies instead of Mass on Sundays,” Fr Wermter said, noting that “the pressure differs from place to place."
The Zimbabwean Jesuits’ June newsletter reported that the priests who have been threatened “cannot operate freely” and a few “had to be removed temporarily from their posts for their own safety.” Some priests “cannot go to remote outstations, or outstation lay leaders tell them not to come because of the instability,” the newsletter said.
Link (here)
More on Mugabe (here)


Anonymous said...

We need to send more Jesuits to Zimbabwe.

Joseph Fromm said...

Yes! We do.

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