US Bishops Support Zimbabwean Brother Bishops

After Pope Benedict XVI, the UK Bishops and the Symposium of Episcopal Confrences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops have officially reached out to support their Zimbabwean counterparts. Bishop Wenski, of the Orlando Diocese, in his role as chairman of the International Policy Committee of the Conference, wrote a letter to Archbishop Robert Ndulovu of Harare, President of the Zimbabwean Conference.

In his letter, Bishop Wenski said that he was moved by the situation in Zimbabwe and the witness of her Pastors. He pledged the solidarity of the Bishops of the United States and promised to share the Zimbabwean Bishops’ letter with political leaders of the United States to garner more support for those oppressed in Zimbabwe. Find the text of the letter below.

The US Bishops have also asked dioceses in the United States to contribute to the Pastoral Solidarity Fund, destined to assist the growing Catholic poplulation of Africa, particularly the many logistical and pastoral needs of their Church.


The text of Bishop Wenski’s letter:
“At this time of great suffering
and uncertainty for the people of Zimbabwe, I write to express the
solidarity of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops with the
Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Your Conference’s recent
Pastoral Letter, “God Hears the Cry of the Oppressed,” is a powerful
testimony to the prophetic leadership of the bishops of Zimbabwe and to
the tragic situation of the people in your country.“We were
particularly moved by the description of suffering and the humanitarian
situation of the people of Zimbabwe. The present situation has eroded
the provision of shelter, health, and education as well as the
foundations of what was once a diverse and vibrant economy.

“Your
Pastoral Letter describes the deep crisis facing your people—a crisis
that is at once a crisis of governance, a crisis of moral leadership
and a spiritual and moral crisis. The courageous and strong cry for
justice and non-violence at the conclusion of your Pastoral Letter
deserves to be heeded by all involved:

‘We conclude our Pastoral
Letter by affirming with a clear and unambiguous Yes, our support of
morally legitimate political authority. At the same time, we say an
equally clear and unambiguous No to power through violence, oppression
and intimidation. We call on those who are responsible for the current
crisis in our Country to repent and listen to the cry of their
citizens. To the people of Zimbabwe we appeal for peace and restraint
when expressing their justified grievances and demonstrating for their
human rights.’

“We offer our profound respect to you and our
brother bishops in Zimbabwe for your brave and faithful pastoral
ministry in these difficult days, and we acknowledge and accept the
bishops’ invitation to join with you in prayer for Zimbabwe. In the
challenging times that lie ahead for your nation and your people, I
want to express and reaffirm our solidarity with you in action and
prayer.

“We are sharing your Pastoral Letter with officials of
our government and are calling on our nation and the international
community to build effective support for a process of genuine
negotiation and reconciliation to bring an end to the political and
economic crisis which undermines the dignity of all, especially the
poor, in your suffering land.

“May God bless you in your
ministry as teachers and pastors as you faithfully proclaim the Gospel
and seek to guide your nation into a future free of oppression.”

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