Barely a week after the remains of Archbishop Tarcisius Grevazio Ziyaye were laid to rest in Maula Cathedral, the Episcopal See’s College of Consultors has, in accordance with Canon Law, elected a diocesan administrator.
According to communication from the College of Consultors, dated December 22 2020, the Catholic Archdiocese of Lilongwe, will until appointment of a new Ar\chbishop, be administered by Monsignor Patrick Thawale.
The Consultors’ letter says, Thawale was elected to fill the vacancy in fulfilment of Canon Law (Can. 421, Section 1), which says: “When the Episcopal See is vacant…the College of Consultors must elect a Diocesan Administrator, namely the one who is to govern the diocese temporarily, within eight days from receiving notice of the vacancy of an Episcopal See and without prejudice to the prescript of Can. 502, Section 3”.
The letter further says, in fulfilment of the above requirement, with the guidance of the Apostolic Nuncio to Zambia and Malawi, a meeting of consultors, chaired by president of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) Archbishop of Blantyre Thomas Luke Msusa—as a non-voting member—elected Thawale through a secret ballot.
Asked about his reaction to the election, Thawale yesterday said: I am humbled. I count on the assistance of God. To fellow members of the Catholic fraternity of Lilongwe Archdiocese and people of goodwill, I implore you to continue being one family of God. Tiyende pamodzi, mpingo ndife tonse.”
The letter announcing Thawale’s appointment was duly signed by Msusa and Fr William Turnbull, secretary for the College of Consultors.