Catholic priest distances church from ‘prayer women warriors’


A PRIEST has distanced the church from the practices of “prayer women warriors” who plan to track down and punish alleged sorcerers.
Catholic Bishops Conference general-secretary Fr Giorgio Licini said the Catholic diocese in Mendi, Southern Highlands, where the prayer women warriors reportedly hail from, did not condone such practices.
He said it appeared that these “warriors” could be affiliated to the Protestant or Catholic churches.
“There is no recognised ministry or group of prayer warriors in the Catholic church,” he said.
“If they are operating within the diocese at all, it is without the knowledge and support of church authorities.
“The truth is that the Catholic church and other mainline churches are at the forefront in the fight against sorcery-accusation violence and all other forms of violence.”
He said in the diocese of Mendi, through the ministry of Sister Lorena Jenal, a Swiss missionary, scores of lives had been saved in recent years from the atrocities related to sorcery accusations.
“The diocese has established the House of Hope in Pomberel as a transitional, residential programme that provides safety and promotes holistic healing and reintegration of survivors of sorcery accusation related violence, gender-based violence and other forms of abuse,” he said.
“It is a tragic contradiction that some individuals participating in these crimes against humanity may, in name, belong to one of the Christian denominations.”
He called on State authorities to prosecute them.
“It is also important that the media do not draw false equivalencies between the actions of a few lost souls with the public policies and practices of the church, which is at the vanguard of protecting, promoting, and defending integral human development at every stage.”


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