By: Stella Zulu
Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace Commission has been encouraged to make sure all programs and activities are guided by the mandate, aims and objectives of the commission to achieve unity and team work for the good of the people they serve.
This was said by the Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) Rev. Fr. Henry Saindi when he opened CCJP Secretaries meeting held at the Catholic Secretariat in Lilongwe. In his remarks, Fr. Saindi focused on the importance for the commission to align its programs and activities with the constitution, the need for unity in the commission and the great role CCJP has to play in the general elections in the country.
“The mandate of CCJP is to contribute to the common effort of the Episcopal Conference and the whole Catholic Church in Malawi in the creation of a God-fearing, just and Peaceful Malawian society that promotes integral development and lasting peace. The overall aim is to awaken Gods people, through the process of conscientization, to further understanding of our calls as Christians with regard to social justice, leading to a greater awareness of Human rights and consequent duties and forming a critical conscience which empowers people to challenge and act to overcome unjust situations.” Said the Secretary General
The secretaries were also encouraged that CCJP should participate in a program of self and community education centered on biblical and theological perception of social justice, In-depth study of the social teaching of the church, its interpretation of social justice and its implementation, analysis of social, political, economic, ecological, cultural and religious realities of our communities, the country and the world at large and promote human rights and duties of all people especially of the disadvantaged which are the main objectives of CCJP.
Fr. Saindi continued by advising the secretaries that a house that is divided cannot stand and that CCJP’s strength as an institution can be measured in the manner it is united and its weakness can be demonstrated in the manner it is divided. He therefore asked the Secretaries to priorities unity and cooperation in this New Year.
“I therefore, request you as CCJP family to sincerely and honestly reflect on what elements can help build team spirit, collaboration and cooperation as well as identify elements from within which have the potential of destroying the unity of CCJP family. Let’s always remember that united we shall stand and divided we shall fall’. He Continued
On elections, the Secretary General said CCJP has an important role to play in the coming 2019 general elections. This is because there is need to prepare citizens to vote for good leaders who have the interest of the country at heart and the common good of all.
“Church institutions such as CCJP, Communications and Pastoral Commissions must understand the important and privileged space they occupy before, during and after elections of providing civic and voter education to the people. Such an important exercise must be done with huge responsibility and without bias towards any political party or candidate.” Said Fr. Saindi
The meeting drew together all diocesan and national CCJP Secretaries who met to discuss and plan programs and activities to be carried out during the year in fulfillment of the commission’s call to work for the betterment of those in need of justice and peace in various aspects of life including the country at large.