A Roman Catholic Bishop has been allowed to return to Zimbabwe Rhodesia, just two years after he was deported from the country.
A Roman Catholic Bishop has been allowed to return to Zimbabwe Rhodesia, just two years after he was deported from the country. Irish-born Bishop Donal Lamont was given a special three-week permit which allowed him to return to the diocese over which he presided for nearly twenty years.
SYNOPSIS: The climax of Bishop Lamont's visit was the consecration of Patrick Matume, as Auxiliary Bishop of Umtali. Hundreds of Bishop Lamont's former congregants were at the open-air ceremony at Umtali's main soccer stadium on Sunday (17 June). The consecration was attended by six bishops and three archbishops--including the Papal envoy to southern Africa
Patrick Mutume is Zimbabwe Rhodesia's third black bishop, and he will assist Bishop Lamont during his stay in the country. Bishop Lamont is an outspoken champion of black rights. He was sentenced to a prison term for failing to report the presence of nationalist guerrillas in his diocese during his term as Bishop of Umtali. In 1977, he was deported by the government of former Prime Minister, Ian Smith.
The Bishop remains a prohibited immigrant and a government order forbids local newspapers form quoting his views on political matters. But, speaking in the african language, Shona Bishop Lamont urged churchmen to speak their minds openly.
He made a veiled reference to the new government which took office on June the first, saying it was "useless to put bandages on a wound, and leave the infection".