Monday, October 12, 2009

Archbishop Okoth: Reconciliation a priority in Kenya

Unless Kenyans embrace healing and reconciliation and treat it as a priority, the country would easily revert to lawlessness and bloodshed.

Addressing the over 240 Synod delegates who included Pope Benedict XVI over the weekend, Most Rev Bishop Zacchaeus Okoth, Archbishop of Kisumu recalled how Kenya has been torn apart, with neighbours turning against neighbours, tribes against tribes and even family members against their own kinsmen.

In reference to the post election violence which rocked our country early last year, the Archbishop Okoth recounted to the attentive audience how people were killed, women raped and the numerous destruction of property which followed.

Although this reality is still fresh in our country, the archbishop said that it was time the church in Kenya provided a clear direction on the reconciliation process.

In the same sitting, the Bishop Philip Sulumeti of Kakamega received a thunderous applause by the Synod delegates when he spoke of the need for more involvement of women in the life of the church.

“The church is slowly losing out on women for not making them more participatory, responsible and authentic and visible in our church,” said the bishop, challenging the delegates to make an honest reflection and appreciate the role of women in the church.

The bishop, who is also the vice chairman of the Kenya Episcopal Conference praised of the women in Kenya for being the work force behind Agricultural and domestic duties

He appealed to the special assembly of Bishops for Africa to give ‘quality formation to empower women and to open for them all social careers which traditions and modern society tend to exclude them without reason’

He called on men to undergo a ‘radical change and a fundamental conversion’

The synod started the second week this morning.

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