TANZANIA: Cardinal Pengo Expresses Concern over the Vacant Dioceses
IFAKARA, June 28, 2012 (CISA) -His Eminence Polycarp Cardinal Pengo of the Archdiocese of Dar es salaam has said that the five vacant dioceses in Tanzania are a big burden to the Church in Tanzania and a great cause of concern not only for him but for the whole Church in the country.
The Cardinal said this during the closing ceremony of a workshop for the Holy Infant Jesus, which was held in the Diocese of Ifakara for all the children from the eight Dioceses in the Eastern Deanery and where he was the main celebrant.
The five vacant dioceses include the Diocese of Songea, which was left vacant following the retirement of Bishop Norbet Mtega; The diocese of Shinyanya, which was left vacant following the death of late Bishop Aloysius Balina and the Diocese of Singida which fell vacant following the transfer of Bishop DesderiusRwoma to the Diocese of Bukoba. The Diocese of Bukoba was left vacant when Bishop Nestor Timanywa retired.
The other vacant Dioceses include Kigoma, which is currently under apostolic administration of His Grace, Most Rev Paul Ruzoka, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Tabora and the diocese of Mpanda, which is under apostolic administration of the Bishop Damian Kyaruzi of Sumbawanga Diocese.
Speaking during the workshop, which was also attended by four other bishops, namely Bishop Theresphore Mkude, of Morogoro, Bishop Agapit Ndorobo of Mahenge, Bishop Salutarius Libena of Ifakara, and the Auxiliary Bishop of Dar es Salaam Bishop Eusebius Nzigilwa; Cardinal Pengo appealed to the children who were attending the workshop to pray unceasingly to God for his intervention so that the vacant dioceses can get shepherds.
“My humble request to you my little children is to use the power of your prayers because God listen more to the prayers of little children like you. We adults have committed so many sins; that even though we may appear righteous before everybody else, if our sins are to be revealed before everyone here, some of us would lack places to hide our faces. But you little children, are pure in heart and mind, you haven’t committed sins like majority of us here and because of that your prayers are pure before Almighty God,” the Cardinal said.
Currently, Tanzania is not the only AMECEA country with vacant Dioceses others include South Sudan and Zambia. South Sudan has three vacant dioceses out of the seven Dioceses in the country. They include: Malakal, which fell vacant in 2009 following the retirement of Bishop Vincent Mojwok Nyiker. The diocese is currently under Apostolic Administration of Msgr Roko Taban Mousa.
Rumbek Diocese in South Sudan fell vacant following the death of Bishop Cesare Mazzolari, MCCI, while Torit Diocese fell vacant following the death of Bishop Akio Johnson Mutek on 18th March 2013.
According to AMECEA, in Zambia Mansa Diocese fell vacant following the retirement of Bishop Andrew Aaron Chisha in 2009; the diocese is currently under Apostolic Administration of Fr Michel Merizzi M Afr. Mpika is the other vacant diocese in Zambia and is currently under Apostolic Administration of Archbishop Ignatius Chama. The Diocese has been vacant since 2012 when Archbishop Ignatius Chama who was the bishop for the diocese since 2008 was elevated to the position of an Archbishop and designated to the Archdiocese of Kasama.