ZAMBIA: Pope to send Envoy on Official Visit

LUSAKA OCTOBER 23 2015 (CISA) – Pope Francis will next month send Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for the Relations with States of the Holy See for an official visit to Zambia.

Archbishop Gallagher will be in Zambia from November 7 – 10 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the Vatican and the Republic of Zambia, Apostolic Nuncio to Zambia and Malawi Archbishop Julio Murat has said.

Archbishop Murat made the announcement when he met Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu at the Zambian state house on October 20 where he said the development is a reminder of Pope Francis’ closeness to the Catholic Church and to all the people of Zambia.

During the meeting Archbishop Murat assured President Lungu the will of the Catholic Church “to contribute towards the growth of the spiritual and human development of the Zambian citizens, without distinction.”

He also thanked President Lungu for the meeting held on July 2015 with the Catholic Bishops of Zambia and expressed his appreciation for the government’s openness to dialogue.

On his part, President Lungu assured the Catholic Church in Zambia of “his government’s continued cooperation and collaboration in all areas of human development as well as “in its spiritual and human development efforts.”

The President said that both the Church and government have the common responsibility of improving the quality of human life as they serve the same constituents and he further acknowledged that the Catholic Church plays a significant role in uplifting the living standards of the people through the provision of services in the health and education sectors.

The Holy See established diplomatic relations with Zambia in 1965 a year following Zambia’s independence in 1964. The first Nuncio appointed to Zambia was Archbishop Alfredo Poledrini who died in 1980 as Apostolic Nuncio Emeritus to Lesotho.

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