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Leader of Malawi’s Bishops Dies in Car Accident

Bishop Joseph Zuza, 59, Participated in Last October’s Synod on Family

The president of the bishops’ conference of Malawi died Thursday in a car accident. He was 59.

Vatican Radio reported the death of Bishop Joseph Mukasa Zuza of the Mzuzu Diocese and President of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM).

ECM Communications Secretary, Father Andrew Kaufa confirmed the death of Bishop Zuza. “Bishop Zuza was involved in a road traffic accident and has passed on while being attended to in Mzuzu,” Father Kaufa stated.

The bishop was found by a Missionary of Africa priest who was travelling by bus to Mzuzu from Lilongwe. The priest, Filiyanus Ekka, saw the bishop’s car and had the bus driver stop. The accident had just happened and Bishop Zuza had been thrown from the car but was alive. According to Filiyanus, the Bishop was conscious all the way to the hospital but died there.

Last October, Bishop Zuza represented Malawi at the Synod on the Family that was held in the Vatican. Speaking to Vatican Radio’s English Service for Africa, he spoke of Malawi’s concerns with regard to Western influences in his country. According to Bishop Zuza, some organisations in Malawi were using money to entice poor young people to adopt un-African lifestyles and unions at the expense of marriage between a man and a woman. “In Malawi, these organisations are using money to influence young people to promote same-sex unions,” Bishop Zuza said at the time.

Bishop Zuza was born Oct. 2, 1955, ordained a priest in 1982 and appointed bishop of the northern diocese of Mzuzu in 1995.

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