Monday, 30 June 2008

An offensive image

Page 3 of today's Times newspaper carries a picture of Robert Mugabe holding up a bible as he is sworn in as President of Zimbabwe.

I should be careful to say that it is not the photograph itself, the photographer or the publishing newspaper that give offense.

What I do find offensive is the idea that the campaign of violence and intimidation, and the complete disregard for the well-being of the people of Zimbabwe, that characterised Mugabe's election campaign is compatible with Christian teaching.

Christian teaching expects a respect for the dignity of each and every human person - and the regime of Robert Mugabe has systematically and consistently denied that respect and dignity.


Anonymous said...

i have read that Mr Mugabe is "a devout Catholic"

Joe said...

I have been told that Robert Mugabe is a Catholic, and that partly prompted my post.

I do hope that, if he is a Catholic, the appropriate ecclesiastical authority is putting into practice the principle of "eucharistic consistency". His life style/politics seem to me to be so publicly in conflict with Catholic teaching that, if he is a Catholic who goes to Sunday Mass, he should be asked to bring his life style more into line with that teaching before he is able to receive the Eucharist.

Recognising, of course, that, in the circumstances of Zimbabwe, this is a much more difficult stance to take than it is for bishops in other parts of the world.