Bulawayo, Zimbabwe 25 September 2007
I have received a number of enquiries over the past week, asking if I am about to enter into politics, or if I am considering standing for the Presidency of Zimbabwe.
I should like to make it clear that in the Catholic Church we have a rule against the clergy getting into party politics or taking on civil duties.
Moreover, I personally have not the slightest interest in entering into politics, and I know nothing about politics. I am a clergyman, and my passion is to work for the Church. As such I shall continue to stand up in defence of human rights which are part of the gospel of Christ.
We have had bad experiences in Zimbabwe when clergy become politicians. When they have to follow a particular party political line, their Christian values become compromised. Also, 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.
My passion is for evangelisation, and as such, Fr Martin Schupp, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Bulawayo, has asked me to take up the role of Pastoral Director in the Archdiocese.
This includes coordinating pastoral work, pastoral structures, training and courses for pastoral workers. In this work I shall work to assist people in coming closer to God, and this includes promoting human rights and defending the disadvantaged.
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.