Zimbabwe: Bishops issue pastoral letter on demolitions

 Churches in Zimbabwe are scheduling days of prayer and reflection, following the release of a Pastoral Letter by the Catholic Bishops Conference: The Cry of the Poor, condemning ongoing demolitions. An Ecumenical meeting held at the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference (ZCBC) offices in Harare on June 16, 2005 proposed that two announcements be made in all Churches on Sunday June 19, 2005 that: 1. Priests and Pastors meet in their Fraternities at a selected venue for prayers and reflection on the current events in our country on Thursday, June 23, 2005. The venue for Harare is the Catholic Cathedral from 10am to 12noon. Other cities and regions will be announcing their own venues and times. 2. Prayers be offered for the whole nation by all congregations on Sunday June 26, 2005 in all churches, and a reflection read or given along the lines appearing in the latest Pastoral Letter of the ZCBC, The Cry of the Poor, emphasizing human dignity, human rights and respect for all regardless of social status. The full text of the Pastoral Letter should be published later today. II states: "Any claim to justify this operation in view of a desired orderly end becomes totally groundless in view of the cruel and inhumane means that have been used. People have a right to shelter and that has been deliberately destroyed in this operation without much warning. While we all desire orderliness, alternative accommodation and sources of income should have been identified and provided before the demolitions and stoppage of informal trading. We condemn the gross injustice done to the poor." Source: CISA

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