(Vatican Radio) Cardinal Medardo Joseph Mazombwe, the Archbishop emeritus of Lusaka,
Zambia, died Thursday afternoon. He was 82 years old.
Zambia’s first Cardinal,
Mazombwe was a member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and of
the Pontifical Council Cor unum.
“He was like a father to me,” said
Father Moses Hamungole, the head of Vatican Radio’s English for Africa Section. Father
Moses is a priest of the diocese of Lusaka. He remembered Cardinal Mazombwe as a man
who inspired him in his priesthood and in his communication apostolate.
me, he’s a man who symbolizes what it means to be a man of service – service for the
people of God and service for the Church,” said Father Moses. He spoke about the Cardinal’s
concern for his priests, about how the Cardinal would call for holiday greetings,
or make special trips to Vatican Radio to meet with him. “Now that he’s gone, of course
I’ll miss that . . . As we talk about him, as we remember, I think these are things
that I am going to miss personally, and I know that other people who are going to
miss this simplicity and this generosity that he had, and service.”
please find the communiqué from the Zambian Episcopal Conference, announcing the death
of Cardinal Mazombwe:
The Catholic Archdiocese of Lusaka and the Zambia
Episcopal Conference regret to announce the death of His Eminence Medardo CARDINAL
Joseph Mazombwe, the Archbishop Emeritus of Lusaka Archdiocese.
Cardinal Mazombwe passed away in Lusaka’s University Teaching Hospital (UTH) on Thursday,
29 August 2013 at around 17:40 hours Zambian time.
Cardinal Mazombwe was born
on 24 Sep 1931 at Katete in the Eastern Province of Zambia. He was ordained a Catholic
priest on 4 September 1960 and become Bishop of Chipata Diocese on 7 Feb 1971. Between
1996 and 2006, he was the Archbishop of Lusaka until his retirement in 2006.
30 November 2010 the then Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI created the Emeritus Archbishop
of Lusaka, Medardo Joseph Mazombwe, as Zambia’s first indigenous Cardinal, at a public
consistory held in St. Peter’s Basilica, at the Vatican.
has held several senior positions in the local and regional Church, such as Zambia
Episcopal President (1972 – 1975; 1988 – 1990 and 1999 – 2002); and as Chairman of
the regional conferences of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern
Africa (A.M.E.C.E.A.) (1979 – 1986).
In the months leading to the year 2000,
Cardinal Mazombwe, as Archbishop of Lusaka, was an ardent campaigner for the cancellation
of Zambia’s international debt, in the Jubilee 2000 movement. Most visible among some
of his numerous pastoral initiatives, is the sprawling Cathedral of the Child Jesus
(Pope Square) in Lusaka.
Cardinal Mazombwe’s optimism and courage in the face
of Cancer inspired many that visited him in the last twelve months. Even as he grew
weak, Cardinal Mazombwe never gave up his passion for the affairs of the Church and
Other funeral details will be communicated in due course.