Abandoning the future

CHINHOYI - Bishop Dieter B Scholz SJ, the new bishop for the Chinhoyi Diocese, recently gave an interview to a German Jesuit magazine in which he said:
"What would have been unthinkable a few years ago is now happening daily: families no longer collect the dead bodies of their loved ones from


the deep-freeze mortuaries. Since they anticipate this even when bringing the sick to the hospital they give false names. …Now and then the corpses are being burnt and the ashes buried in a mass grave. They call it a pauper’s burial. But it is no proper burial at all, and the paupers are not the dead, but the surviving family members who somehow try to survive on the borderline between life and death.
“Whoever is familiar with the respect given to the dead in traditional Shona culture knows that a family by abandoning their dead abandons the past as well as the future. Once people turn their backs on the dead they lose their very being as a community, and the good relationship between the living and the dead, so necessary for the common good, is being disturbed.
“Of course I feel anger about the suffering which is inflicted deliberately on the people of Zimbabwe. This anger is good and necessary. It gives us the courage and the energy to act. Whoever always wants to see both sides of an evil situation, sitting on the fence, will rarely take decisive action.
“But we must not allow this anger to embitter us. That anger must not destroy my inner freedom. Cold rage and a relaxed attitude can well go together in the same person. My anger must not penetrate that inner space of my heart which belongs to the people with whom I live and work. And certainly not that free space which is reserved for God and my relationship with Him.” – In Touch, Jesuit Communications


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