ZAMBIA: Oldest Bishop in Africa Retires.
VATICAN, February 16, 2011 (CISA) -Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the retirement of Bishop Paul Duffy of Mongu Diocese in Zambia and also appointed Fr. Evans Chinyemba as the new bishop of the diocese.
According to Fr Paul Samasumo Zambia Episcopal Conferecne (ZEC) spokesperson, Bishop Duffy, in conformity with Church law (Canon 401 Para 1) asked to retire upon reaching the age of 75 years in 2007.
However, in appreciation of the many pastoral programmes by Bishop Duffy, the Pope allowed him to continue as Bishop of Mongu for another four years. He was until today Tuesday 15, 2011 the oldest Bishop still in charge of a Catholic Diocese in the whole of Africa.
According to a Vatican communiqué given to ZEC today, the Pope Benedict is very grateful to Bishop Duffy for his tireless commitment to the Diocese of Mongu and for the many social and development programmes he has spearheaded in the Diocese of Mongu.
The new Bishop-elect Evans Chinyemba has been known to Bishop Duffy since he was a young man.
According to the Vatican communiqué, “The choice of Fr Evans Chinyemba is also to give continuity to the work done by Bishop Duffy in the Mongu Diocese for nearly 14 years, as the first Bishop of Zambian Diocese.”
Bishop-elect Evans Chinyemba was born on August 9, 1967 in Lukulu, Western Province. He attended Silembe Primary School as well as Lukulu Secondary School in Lukulu District. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Theology.
Since his ordination in the year 2000, Bishop-elect Chinyemba has served in various pastoral and administrative duties within the Catholic Church including as a member of the General Council of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate for Africa and Madagascar.
Both the new and the retiring bishops are members of this international religious Congregation within the Catholic Church known as Oblates of Mary Immaculate. The priests of this congregation work mostly in the Western Province.