July 22, 2024
News Nigeria

“Do not be afraid, speak the painful truth”: Catholic Bishop in Tanzania to Newly Ordained Priest

The Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Rulenge-Ngara in Tanzania has called upon Deacon Almachius Mwemezi whom he ordained a priest to stand for the truth and fearlessly denounce all forms of evil in the society. 

In his congratulatory speech following the ordination of Fr. Mwemezi, Bishop Severine Niwemugizi reminded the priest of the great responsibility that lies ahead of him in his service to God’s people.

“Do not be afraid, speak the painful truth, say it even if they hate you, despise you, insult you, or slander you, you will have said it,” Bishop Niwemugizi said during the Thursday, June 6 Eucharistic celebration at Mary the Virgin Chato Parish of Rulenge-Ngara Diocese.

He added, “If it is evil, say it is evil, tell them, even if they do not want to hear, even if politicians do not want to hear, tell them it is evil.”

“You have been given a great and very important task. The work of a priest might seem ordinary, but it is a very heavy responsibility,” the Catholic Bishop said.

Bishop Niwemugizi told the new Priest, “Acting in the place of Christ, you become another Christ. With ordinary understanding, it might seem incomprehensible that you can work on behalf of God, in Christ’s place. You alone have the power in this world; once you utter the words to transform bread into the body of Christ, and wine into the blood of Christ, you alone can bring God to the altar before the faithful to see Him -only you a Catholic priest.”

The Tanzanian Catholic Church leader who has been at the helm of Rulenge-Ngara Diocese since February 1997 cautioned the new priest against the temptation of power and authority.

“People claim that all authority comes from God. Yes, it does, but not all authority, my brother. Authority obtained through trickery, theft, and bribery does not come from God; it comes from the devil,” he said. 

The 68-year-old catholic Bishop urged Fr. Mwemezi to “obey those who lead you, but only if they have entered legitimately.”

“It is a disaster for people to celebrate those who enter national leadership through trickery and vote theft. I say, do not be afraid, speak the painful truth,” Bishop Niwemugizi asserted.

He called upon families in the Catholic Church to become active collaborators in the nurturing and raising of children into holy vocations right from the family

“How do you, parents, raise your children to enter into holy matrimony? Are you fulfilling that responsibility, or do you think it is the priest who should raise people to enter into holy matrimony?” Bishop Niwemugizi posed.

He added, “The primary responsibility starts with you, the parent; you give birth, you nurture, you guide with your life examples for them to love being a priest, to love being a religious, to love being a catechist, but also to love entering into holy matrimony.”

The Catholic Church leader further advised parents against leaving their children to be raised by the world. He said, “The world raises them in its way nowadays, the world raises them badly. Catholic parents, you have the responsibility of raising all vocations.”

“If you want to continue receiving priests to serve spiritually, to guide you to know God, to love and serve Him, produce priests,” Bishop Niwemugizi said.

He urged the faithful to continue praying to God to inspire priests and help them fulfill the mission of their calling, saying, “It will be a great disappointment if, after rejoicing today, tomorrow you hear your son has failed in the priesthood. It will be a very sorrowful thing.”

Irene Wambui contributed to the writing of this story

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