"Charismatic" Priest in Malawi Leaves Catholic Church

LILONGWE, Malawi, OCT. 22, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Father Mark Kambalazaza, who last year founded a Charismatic Renewal movement in Malawi, has left the Catholic Church officially, his spokesman reported.

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«It was high time to end this situation and to make his separation from the Catholic Church official,» the spokesman said. He said the separation took effect Sunday.

Kambalazaza, 36, was suspended from his priestly functions last year because of his stance against the Church and its leaders.

According to Kambalazaza, the Church rejected him because he organized meetings to cast out devils. Church representatives, however, referred to the priest´s total lack of respect for rules on exorcisms.

This is the first such separation to take place in the Catholic Church in Malawi, which is extremely active and dynamic in the country, and which celebrates its first centenary this year.

Malawi´s 11 million people include 2 million Catholics. Other believers include Muslims, other Christians and animists.

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