The Karonga Diocese of the Catholic Church has ‘shut down’ St Michael’s Parish in Chitipa after church members last Sunday sent packing their parish priest, Reverend Father Charles Chinula.
Church members accuse Chinula of adultery and mismanaging church resources, issues they argue do not make him fit to be their priest.
Both parish pastoral council chairperson Maston Mtambo and his secretary Jacob Msukwa said they were not at church when the incident happened and asked for more time to give details.
When contacted yesterday, Father Chinula said the leadership at Karonga Diocese was better-placed to speak on the matter.
He said: “You can speak to the bishop’s secretary; I am not commenting.”
Meanwhile, Karonga Diocese has criticised St Michael’s Parish members’ conduct, saying what they did is against the Church’s doctrine. A letter from Karonga Diocese office we have seen written by the diocese’s secretary the Reverend Father Joseph Moloka Sikwese decries the decision to force Chinula out.
In the letter dated August 18 Sikwese contends that the members’ decision means they have automatically closed down the parish and that they are not ready to have a priest to oversee them.
The letter reads in part: “What this means is that everything relating to sacraments and leadership from priests will not be taking place in the whole parish until the bishop is convinced that the lives and work of the priests will be safe.”
Karonga Diocese was created on July 21 2010 and officially inaugurated on November 20 2010.