Pope mourns death of Zambian Cardinal Medardo Joseph Mazombwe
Pope Francis on Friday sent a telegram to Archbishop Telesphore George Mpundu of Lusaka, Zambia, on the occasion of the death of Cardinal Medardo Joseph Mazombwe.
In his telegram, the Holy Father praised Cardinal Mazombwe’s “unfailing commitment to the spread of the Gospel in Africa and his tireless efforts on behalf of the poor.”
Cardinal Mazombwe died Thursday night after a long battle with cancer. He was Zambia’s first cardinal.
Below, please find the complete text of the Holy Father’s telegram:
I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Cardinal Medardo Joseph Mazombwe, Archbishop Emeritus of Lusaka. I offer to you, the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the Archdiocese my heartfelt condolences and the assurance of my prayers. With gratitude to Almighty God, I recall his unfailing commitment to the spread of the Gospel in Africa and his tireless efforts on behalf of the poor. I join you and all who mourn Cardinal Mazombwe in praying that God the Father of mercies may grant him the reward of his labours and welcome his noble soul into the peace and joy of heaven. To all assembled for the solemn funeral Mass, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of strength and consolation in the Lord.
MORE DETAILS FROM Pope Francis
Pope Francis said he was “deeply saddened” by the news of the death of Cardinal Medardo Joseph Mazombwe Zambia, which took place yesterday afternoon in Lusaka at the age of 81. In a telegram sent to the archbishop of Lusaka, Msgr. Telesphore George Mpundu, the Pope recalls with gratitude the “tireless efforts” of the cardinal, “to spread the Gospel in Africa,” as well as “his ceaseless work on behalf of the poor” and raised his prayer “that God, the Father of mercies , to reward him for his efforts and welcome his noble soul in peace and joy of heaven. ” Cardinal Mazombwe, archbishop emeritus of Lusaka, capital of Zambia, and only Zambian prelate of the College of Cardinals. was born September 24, 1931, in Chundamira, in the region of Chief M’bang’ombe, in the diocese of Chipata. As a boy he breathed the missionary spirit in the family. His father, Adrian Joseph, was one of the first catechists of the diocese of Chipata. His mother, Eugenia Phiri, was well known for his piety. entire mission of Cardinal Mazombwe is linked to the growth and rooting of the Church in his native land and the battle for the cancellation of the international debt of poor countries. From a true pioneer, in the eastern region of his country played an important role in evangelization, with a strong emphasis on catechesis. In Zambia, in fact, the Catholic hierarchy was established only by Pius XII in 1959, just before the independence of the country on October 24, 1964 (previously called Northern Rhodesia).
Ordained September 4, 1960, just thirty-nine he was appointed third Bishop of Chipata, in whose diocese remains for twenty-six years. He was elected to three terms are not consecutive President of the Episcopal Conference. From 1979 to 1986 he was president of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (Amecea), founded in 1961. The most significant work of his service in AMECEA was the opening of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Nairobi, Kenya. On 18 August 1985 he accompanied John Paul II on a visit to the campus for the official opening. In 2009, on the occasion of the silver jubilee of the university, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in theology. From 2 to May 4, 1989, as president of the Episcopal Conference, once again welcomed Pope John Paul II in his two-day trip to Zambia, marked by a strong appeal for international solidarity and focused on issues of racism, the international debt, refugees, poverty and peace. On 30 November 1996 he was appointed archbishop of Lusaka. Ten years later, on 28 October 2006 resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese. Endless list of its initiatives. They range from self to the establishment of parishes of the diocese, a religious congregation of women, a radio, centers for the pastoral and spiritual care, until the reopening of the minor seminary in Msupadzi and construction of the new cathedral in Lusaka. To promote the role of women gave birth to the Council of catholic women associations and movements. In the Roman Curia, he was a member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Council Cor Unum. has participated in five synods of bishops between 1974 and 2001. Considered one of the greatest experts of issues related to the cancellation of international debt, he spoke at several international conferences in Vienna, in the United States, Italy and Great Britain. He is personally committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. He brought forward the project Time for action now, speaking directly to the G8 governments and parliamentarians from different countries. Benedict XVI had created him cardinal November 20, 2010, of the Title of Santa Emerenziana Tor Fiorenza. With his death, the College of Cardinals now has a total of 201 cardinals, of whom 112 are electors and 89 non-voters.
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