Archbishop who opposed Mugabe now to focus on evangelization


Archbishop Pius Ncube, an African cleric who has outspokenly opposed the dictator of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, will now head pastoral programs in the Archdiocese of Bulawayo.  As pastoral director, the archbishop will coordinate pastoral work, pastoral training, and courses for pastoral workers. 

The archbishop resigned from his position as archbishop of Bulawayo on September 11 after allegations of an adulterous affair with a married woman.  He was rumored to have resigned in order to campaign against President Mugabe.

The archbishop put these rumors to rest by saying that his “passion is for evangelization”, and he does not have “the slightest interest in entering into politics.” There is also the fact that Church law forbids active clergy from holding political office.

He also warned that politicized clergy risked compromising Christian values.  “I have seen that many politicians are concerned chiefly with the accumulation of power and wealth, rather than with alleviating the suffering of their people.”

Nevertheless, Archbishop Ncube affirmed the Church's duty to protest injustices:  "I shall continue to speak out for human rights, that is non-negotiable. Come rain or high water, in a situation where there is gross oppression, as in Zimbabwe, I shall continue to speak out."

"This is part of the prophetic role of the Church - to stand up and strongly defend the human rights of the poor and oppressed people."

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