Celebrating the ordination of Bishop Scholz

CHINHOYI - All Zimbabwean bishops (Gokwe was represented by its vicar general) were present at the ordination in Chinhoyi earlier this month of Bishop Dieter Scholz SJ. Among them was the new bishop of Gweru, Bishop Martin Munyanyi, ordained only a week earlier, also Bishop Boniface of neighb

ouring Botswana.
Archbishop Ludwig Schlick of Bamberg read out a message of Cardinal Karl Lehmann, president of the German Bishops’ Conference. Zambia was represented by fellow Jesuits. The Nuncio, Archbishop Edward Adams, read out the papal letter of appointment. Archbishop Robert Ndlovu was the main celebrant and consecrator, together with Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo and the Nuncio, representing Pope Benedict and the universal Church.
All the priests of the Chinhoyi Diocese, diocesan and religious, came forward to express their loyalty to the new bishop.
For the first time as bishop addressing the faithful of his diocese in flawless Shona, the Bishop said that, since his parents have died long ago and his brother, also a priest, and sister are old and frail, “you are now my family in Christ”. He stressed the concept of “ukama” (family relationship) with Christ and within the Church. He expressed his great hope that the seed of the Word of God would sprout and grow in the hearts of the faithful and bear much fruit.
Dieter B Scholz was born in Berlin in 1938. He joined the Jesuits in 1958. After studies in France he came to this country, then still Rhodesia, in 1963. He was ordained a priest in Berlin in 1969 and came back to Africa in 1970. He worked with the Justice and Peace Commission documenting atrocities committed by the security forces against the civilian population (“The Mann in the Middle” – “Civil War in Rhodesia”). This brought him into conflict with the Rhodesian authorities. He was arrested and had to appear in court. The case was dismissed, but the government expelled him from the country anyhow (12 August 1978).
Fr Pedro Arrupe SJ appointed Fr Scholz, by now experienced in refugee work, the first director of the Jesuit Refugee Service (1981). For the next 10 years Fr Scholz, based in Rome, set up and supported teams of Jesuits in Central America, Africa (especially Ethiopia) and South-East Asia.
In 1991 Fr Scholz returned to Zimbabwe. In Marymount he worked once more with refugees, this time Mozambiquans driven by the civil war into Zimbabwe (Nyamatikiti Camp and Mazoe River Camp).
In 1995 he was appointed director of Silveira House. Pastoral care and social development were for him always very closely aligned. All his life he was a man passionately concerned for social justice and the complete liberation, social and spiritual, of God’s people.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *