02 July 2008

Mugabe supporters assault priests in Zimbabwe

Mugabe supporters assault priests during crackdown in Zimbabwe

Wednesday 2 July 2008
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (CNS) - Several Catholic priests have been assaulted by supporters of Zimbabwe's ruling party and at least one house belonging to the Church has been burned down, a Jesuit spokesman said.

You may read the full story here .

Robert Mugabe is a Catholic. This story reminds me of the Martial Law years here in the Philippines , officially 21 September 1972 till 17 January 1981, but in reality till the overthrow of Marcos on 25 February 1976, when the conjugal dictators Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, were also Catholics. Many Church workers, mostly lay, but also some priests, were murdered or harassed by the military. On one occasion the late Jaime Cardinal Sin, Archbishop of Manila, was prevented from traveling to Rome by an official at Manila International Airport.

The Marcoses were much younger that Mugabe is now when they were overthrown but, unfortunately, the family still has power. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr, known as 'Bong-Bong' succeeded his sister Imee in 2007 the congressional seat she had held for three terms from 1998. While his siter was in Congress he was governor of the province of Ilocos Norte, in the northwest corner of Luzon.

Pope Benedict writes about faith and Justice in No 44 of Spe Salvi, his encyclical on hope:

A world without God is a world without hope (cf. Eph 2:12). Only God can create justice. And faith gives us the certainty that he does so. The image of the Last Judgement is not primarily an image of terror, but an image of hope; for us it may even be the decisive image of hope. Is it not also a frightening image? I would say: it is an image that evokes responsibility, an image, therefore, of that fear of which Saint Hilary spoke when he said that all our fear has its place in love. God is justice and creates justice. This is our consolation and our hope. And in his justice there is also grace. This we know by turning our gaze to the crucified and risen Christ. Both these things—justice and grace—must be seen in their correct inner relationship. Grace does not cancel out justice. It does not make wrong into right. It is not a sponge which wipes everything away, so that whatever someone has done on earth ends up being of equal value.

While still dicatator he commissioned a huge concrete bust of himself in the early 1980s but it was blown up by unknown individuals on 30 December 2002.

I know that Ferdinand Marcos received the Last Sacraments before his death in Hawaii on 27 September 1989. I pray that Robert Mugabe will discover God's mercy too before he dies.

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