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Zambia‘s first indigenous Cardinal

The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI on November 30, 2010 created Emeritus Archbishop of Lusaka, Medardo Joseph Mazombwe, as Zambia’s first indigenous Cardinal, at a public consistory held in St. Peter’s Basilica, at the Vatican.


Cardinal Mazombwe who celebrated 50 years as a priest in 2010, was born on 24 September 1931 at Katete in the Eastern Province of Zambia. He was ordained a Catholic priest on 4th September 1960 and become Bishop of Chipata on 7 Feb 1971.  Between 1996 and 2006, he was the Archbishop of Lusaka until his retirement in 2006.


Cardinal Mazombwe has held several senior positions in the local and regional Church, such as Zambia Episcopal President (1972 – 1975; 1988 – 1990 and 1999 – 2002), and  as Chairman of the regional conferences of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (A.M.E.C.E.A.) (1979 – 1986). In the months leading to year 2000, he was an ardent campaigner for the cancellation of Zambia’s international debt, in the Jubilee 2000 movement. Most visible among some of his numerous successes, is the sprawling Cathedral of the Child Jesus (Pope Square) in Lusaka.

Cardinals serve as the pope’s advisors and hold positions of authority within the structures of the Catholic Church. They are also available to the pope, to assist him in the daily care of the universal church.

The Catholic Church in Zambia

The Catholic Church founded in the year 33 AD by Jesus Christ on St. Peter the Apostle.




Number of Catholics worldwide

Population of Zambia

Number of Catholics in Zambia

Number of Dioceses

Total number of Priests in Zambia

Total Number of Religious Brothers

Total Number of Religious Sisters

Number of Parishes


1.147 Billion








6,000 approx.


Education sector

The Catholic Church in Zambia is active in the education sector. It has 3 teacher’s training colleges; 36 Grant Aided Secondary/High schools; 9 special schools for children with disabilities; more than 100 nursery and community schools; several vocational training centre and private secondary schools run by religious congregations.

Health sector

The field of health is one of the key callings of the Catholic Church in Zambia. In the health sector, the Church partners with government in providing health care to the most vulnerable in our communities. The Catholic Church in Zambia has 15 hospitals, 38 health centres and 10 hospices. The Catholic Church in Zambia is responsible for approximately 70% of rural health care.


The Catholic Church coordinates most of its media activities through the Catholic Media Services (CMS), which is the communications ministry of the Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC). There are 7 Diocesan community radio stations located in different parts of the country. Apart from many small printing presses, the church also owns Mission Press and Kolbe Press. Hopefully, CMSTV which is owned by the Catholic Church will in the near future become a national Catholic Television Station.

Caritas Zambia

The Catholic Church through Caritas Zambia, formerly known as the Catholic Centre for Justice, Development and Peace (CCJDP) oversees the implementation of programmes and projects for integral development. Caritas Zambia’s social ministry is inspired by Gospel values and the Catholic Church’s social teaching.

Several Parishes and religious sisters also have many programmes and projects for helping the poor and the sick in our communities.




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