Bishop Phiri, who is now the new Bishop for Ndola Catholic Diocese, said the Church is not an enemy of government but only wants the best for Zambians.
He said the Church works with the government of the day.
“We work with the government of the day and we are going to continue criticising the government because we want to promote the common good. Again, we are not enemies of the government but we collaborate with the government,” Bishop Phiri said.
He also paid particular tribute to President Edgar Lungu for rendering support towards the establishment of Catholic-run Lumezi nursing school.
Bishop Phiri said when President Lungu learnt about the project, he rendered his support privately.
He told Eastern Province
Minister Makebi Zulu to relay his message to President that he was grateful to him.
Bishop Phiri said President Lungu helped the project as part of his corporate social responsibility.
He said he also worked well with Mr Zulu.
Bishop Phiri was speaking during his final farewell mass at Chipata Diocese yesterday.
And Mr Zulu said the government and the Catholic Church worked together in various programmes.
Mr Zulu said government attaches great importance to the integral role that the Catholic Church plays in society.
Meanwhile, Chipata Diocese Bishop George Lungu said Bishop Phiri was his strength.
Bishop Lungu said it is not easy to work as Auxiliary Bishop but that Bishop Phiri worked well.
Bishop Phiri worked as Chipata Diocese Auxiliary Bishop since 2011 when he was consecrated.