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Cardinal Turkson to speak on Christian Non-Violence and Just Peace

By Bongiwe Zwane-Maseko

The Catholic Diocese of Manzini will on 18 February host the Bishop Mandlenkosi Aloysius Isaac Zwane Annual Memorial Lecture at the Our Lady of Assumption in Manzini (Cathedral).

The guest speaker will be Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, who is the Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Prefect Emeritus of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, and Archbishop emeritus of Cape Coast (Ghana). His address will be titled “Christian Non-violence and Just Peace.”

This was confirmed by Bishop Jose Luis Ponce de Leon, in a statement to the church. Since its inception, the Annual Lecture has been given by some of the most well-known Catholic Church leaders such as Archbishop William Matthew Slattery, Emeritus Archbishop of Pretoria and former Director of the Secretariat at IMBISA, Fr Dumisani Vilakati, and has attracted audiences from across the entire Southern African region Bishop Zwane was also a writer and secretary general of the Council of Bishops and his writings focused on issues such as human development, freedom, and human rights.

On April 24, 2007, he was granted the Order of the Companions of O. R. Tambo by the then South African President for his caring ministry to both South African and Mozambican refugees, his developmental strategies to pull communities out of poverty, his support for the struggle against apartheid, and the struggle to rid churches in Swaziland of their imperial trappings and colonial tendencies.

A very humble leader and the honour and dignity of being a bishop did not take away any of the late Bishop Zwane’s personal qualities such as his simplicity and closeness to the people. To everybody, he was always known as ‘Mandla’ and never as ‘His Lordship’ or ‘Bishop’. It was this modesty that made him mix easily with all types of people, old and young, the learned and illiterate, the saint and sinner.

The event continues to celebrate the life and work of the bishop who was one of the most progressive priests of his time, a man of great honour and principle.

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