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Zambia's Catholic Church sanctions herbal medicine


Driven by poverty, compounded by an HIV/AIDS pandemic that has shortened many lives in Zambia, Christians increasingly are turning to traditional healers since modern drugs and hospital treatment have become prohibitively expensive.

Ecumenical News International reports that faith healing, which was very popular in Zambia during the time of former Lusaka Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, has eluded many Christians since his banishment by the Vatican to Rome in 1982. At that time he was accused of witchcraft and going too far in mixing his African spirituality with traditional Christianity.

Meanwhile the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference has announced a $A3.62 million grant to finance programs and initiatives fighting against HIV/AIDS in Botswana and South Africa. Wednesday's announcement was made at Mariannhill Monastery near Durban, at the conclusion of the meeting of Bishops from South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland representing five million Catholics. The amount has been added to a previous allocation to projects since the beginning of 2004.

The Southern African bishops also issued a statement calling on the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU), and the United Nations (UN) to take stronger action, including the consideration of targeted sanctions, to prevent further suffering in Zimbabwe and Sudan.

A further statement concerned the secrecy surrounding child sex abuse. "Child sexual abuse thrives on secrecy. If the evil is to be eradicated, then the secrecy must be broken", said the Bishops at the conclusion of their plenary session. The SACBC is concerned to make it known that it has procedures in place that promise investigation of all allegations and reporting of every case of child sexual abuse to the civil authorities.

A final statement called on all Catholic medical personnel to "insist on their constitutional rights, respecting their freedom of conscience and to refuse to cooperate in the performance of abortions".

SOURCE
Zambia's Catholic Church sanctions herbal medicine (Ecumenical News International 12/8/04)
Catholic bishops urge the international community to take stronger action on Zimbabwe and Sudan (Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference 11/8/04)
Catholic bishops say the secrecy surrounding child sexual abuse must be broken (Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference 11/8/04)
Catholic Church Gives R16 million to fight HIV/AIDS (Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference 11/8/04)
Catholic Bishops Call to Action on Abortion (Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference 11/8/04)

LINKS
Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference


13 Aug 2004