Zimbabwean human rights campaigner Bishop Donal Lamont dies

 Last night the English Carmelites sent ICN the following message from the Irish Province of Carmelites. British Provincial Fr Tony Lester, O Carm, said: "Bishop Lamont was one of the leading figures opposing the Rhodesian oppression of the black population. He was a man who helped pave the way to an independent Zimbabwe". It is with sadness that the Irish Province announces the death of Carmelite Bishop Donal Lamont, Emeritus Bishop of Mutare, Zimbabwe, at the age of 92. He died this afternoon, August 14, in Dublin. Born on 27 July 1911 in Ballycastle, Co Antrim, he was educated in Northern Ireland, at Terenure College, Dublin, University College Dublin, and Collegio Sant' Alberto, Rome. He was professed in the Order of Carmelites in 1930 and ordained Priest in Rome in 1937. Appointed Superior of the Carmelite Mission in Rhodesia in 1946, and Prefect Apostolic of Umtali (now Mutare) in 1953, and was Bishop of Umtali from 1957 to 1982. Attended the Second Vatican Council 1962-65; a member of the Vatican Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity 1962-75. President of the Rhodesia Catholic Bishops' Conference 1970-72, represented the Conference at Roman Synods in 1969, 1971, 1974. Bishop Lamont was an outspoken critic of the Smith Regime in Rhodesia and was sentenced to ten years in prison with hard labour for aiding terrorists who came to his priests and nuns seeking food and medical attention. On appeal he was deported from Rhodesia in March 1977. He returned to Umtali Diocese after Independence in 1980 and resigned as Bishop of the Diocese in 1982, now Emeritus Bishop of Mutare. Bishop Lamont received an honorary LL.D from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana; Seton Hall, New Jersey, Mount St Mary's, Maryland; and Marymount, New York. A postage stamp was issued in his honour by the Government of Kenya in 1979. Given the People of God Award by the Washington Theological Union, and was asked to be a nominator for the Templeton Prize for Religion and Progress in 1976. Was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1978 (which was awarded jointly to President Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat of Egypt and Menachem Begin of Israel). Bishop Lamont resided as a member of the Carmelite Community, Terenure College since his retirement.

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