16 July 2017

Malawi VP Chilima Says Govt, Church for Stronger Ties As Ziyaye Clocks 25 in Episcopate

State Vice President, Saulos Chilima has expressed hope for a continued productive relationship with the Catholic Church, and the entire faith family in the country in the latter's advisory role to the former.

Chilima was speaking Saturday at Maula Parish in the Archdiocese of Lilongwe where he had represented President Prof. Peter Mutharika at the silver jubilee of Archbishop Tarsizio Ziyaye's service in the Episcopate.

Congratulating the Archbishop for the 25 years of humble but productive service to the church, and the country, the Chilima said, "President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika has expressed hope that the existent bond that has prevailed over the past years with the church will be even stronger as you start your journey towards your Golden Jubilee."

In his remarks, the Archbishop expressed gratitude at having been given a chance serve both the church and government saying interaction with great minds in both circles had shaped him into a better and more mature servant.

"It still puzzles me how I have managed to make it this far. The only logical explanation is God's grace; I owe it all to God's grace," he said.

He added; "And God works through people and thus I thank all the people who have always supported me including Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict, and the current Pope Francis and all fellow bishops, priests, clergy and the laity. God has given me great friends in you."

The event, which was climaxed by a celebratory mass, was also blessed by congratulatory messages from Pope Francis and Fernando Cardinal Filoni.

In his message, Pope Francis advised Archbishop Ziyaye to take a deep reflection to appreciate how good God had been to him in the past 25 years, and to allow the God's favours challenge him to serve the church and all humanity even better.

The anniversary was co-celebrated with 50 years of Fr. Kapinga's priesthood, and 25 years of Fr. Gerald Kubetcha in priesthood, along with the ordination of three deacons into priesthood of the Archdiocese.

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