Friday, January 22, 2010

Bishops' Statement: THOU SHALL NOT KILL (Exodus 20:13)

‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you came to birth I consecrated you..’ Jeremiah 1:4-5

Life begins at conception and ends with natural death. Any attempt to deny this truth is wrong and misleading.

The Catholic Church has stated again and again that human life begins from the moment of conception and ends with natural death. The servant of God Pope John Paul II taught that: “Even in the midst of difficulties and uncertainties, every person sincerely open to truth and goodness can, by light of reason and the hidden action of grace, come to recognize in the natural law written in the heart the sacred value of human life from its very beginning until its end, and can affirm the right of every human being to have this primary good respected to the highest degree” (The Gospel of Life, no.2).

It follows therefore that the recognition of the right to life is the foundation in which every human community and the political community is based on. Based on this foundational principle, the Catholic Bishops in Kenya presented to the Committee of Experts on the Constitutional Review the following immutable statement in regard to Article 35 – Right to Life of the draft Constitution:

The Catholic Church upholds the fundamental principle of the Sanctity of life. We believe life is sacred and God-given and therefore propose the following legislation on this basis:-

1. Every person has a right to life
2. Life starts from the moment of conception and ends with natural death
3. There shall be no abortion
4. There shall be no capital punishment
5. There shall be no euthanasia

It comes therefore as a surprise that at this very moment when the people of Kenya are looking forward to a new Constitution, those entrusted with the task are removing the only one basic pillar and the corner stone that the entire structure of the constitution hangs on – the inviolable sanctity of human life that begins at the moment of conception.

To insert in the constitution a clause that shifts the moment of life from conception to the time of birth defeats reason and without doubt is to open the way to legalized abortion.

The acceptance of abortion - an unspeakable crime - in the popular mind, in behavior and even in law itself, is a telling sign of an extremely dangerous crisis of the moral sense, which is becoming more and more incapable of distinguishing between good and evil, even when the fundamental right to life is at a stake. Procured abortion is the deliberate and direct killing, by whatever means carried out, of a human being in the initial phase of his or her existence, extending from conception to birth. When it comes to abortion we are dealing with murder. The one eliminated is a human being from the very beginning of life.

Consequently, a constitution that does not protect life in all its phases is irremediably faulty and ceases to demand any recognition. Conscious of our divine mandate to promote the culture of life and to stand for inviolable right of every person to life from the moment of conception to natural death, we strongly feel that we cannot be party to any legislation that supports a culture of death.

We therefore call upon our members of Parliament and all concerned to correct the anomaly and recognize, in the Constitution, that life begins at the moment of conception.

Signed by the Mandate of
His Eminence John Cardinal Njue
Archbishop of Nairobi & Apostolic Administrator of Ngong
Chairman, Kenya Episcopal Conference

Rt. Rev. Philip Sulumeti
Bishop of Kakamega/
Vice Chairman, Kenya Episcopal Conference

1. Most Rev. Zacchaeus Okoth (Kisumu)
2. Most Rev. Boniface Lele (Mombasa)
3. Most Rev. Peter Kairo (Nyeri)
4. Rt. Rev. Paul Darmanin (Garissa)
5. Rt. Rev. Cornelius K. Arap Korir (Eldoret)
6. Rt. Rev. Joseph Mairura Okemwa (Kisii)
7. Rt. Rev. Philip Anyolo (Homa Bay); (Apostolic Administrator (Nakuru))
8. Rt. Rev. Alfred Rotich (.Military Ordinariate)
9. Rt. Rev. Maurice Crowley (Kitale)
10. Rt. Rev. Norman Wambua King’oo (Bungoma)
11. Rt. Rev. Peter Kihara, IMC (Marsabit)
12. Rt. Rev. David Kamau Ng’ang’a- Aux. Bishop (Nairobi)
13. Rt. Rev. Anthony Ireri Mukobo, IMC (Isiolo Vicariate)
14. Rt. Rev. Patrick Harrington (Lodwar)
15. Rt. Rev. Virgilio Pante . (Maralal)
16. Rt. Rev. Salesius Mugambi (Meru)
17. Rt. Rev. Luigi Paiaro (Nyahururu)
18. Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Okombo (Kericho)
19. Rt. Rev. Martin Kivuva Musonde (Machakos)
20. Rt. Rev. Anthony Muheria (Kitui)
21. Rt. Rev. James Wainaina (Muranga)
22. Rt. Rev. Paul Kariuki (Embu)
23. Rt. Rev. Maurice Muhatia – Bishop Elect (Nakuru)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fr. Adilleta succeeds Fr. Devine as Chair of RSCK

Fr. Patrick Devine, the outgoing Chairman of the RSCK, is delighted that Fr. David Adilleta, who had served up to now as vice chairman, is the new Chairman.

“The fidelity, commitment, and contribution of Fr. David to RSCK and Church issues were of a very high standard. Fr. David played a very significant role as chairman of the RSCK Justice-Peace and Integrity of Creation Commision,” he said.

In addition, his role in the Liaison and the CJPC Commissions of the Kenya Episcopal Conference, he has had a positive impact on collaboration and mutual relations between all involved.

“The fact that (Father) David was the unanimous choice for the position of Chairman of the RSCK speaks volumes of the esteem in which he is held by the other Religious Superiors,” said Fr. Devine.

He noted that he was aware that each Religious Superior does have a lot of various responsibilities outside RSCK, but there are no words of his that could thank David enough for his solidarity and generosity to the mission projects and remits of the RSCK.

While assuring Fr. David of his assistance and support in all ways possible, he praised the new executive elected. The executive team includes Fr Caellana, Fr. Ricardo; Br. Leonard and Fr. Wanjau “I have no doubt of their past contribution and willingness to offer themselves to new demands of leadership and the service of mission,” said Fr. Devine

Fr. David Adilleta OP, the newly elected Chairman of the Religious Superiors Conference of Kenya, (RSCK), praised the out-going Chairman, Fr. Patrick Devine SMA, who had completed the two terms in the post, for his dedication at RSCK . “It is important to acknowledge the vast contribution Fr. Patrick Devine has made to the RSCK and the missionary work of its members during his time as vice-chairman and his two terms as chairman,” said Fr. David.

He said that Fr Devine was instrumental in purchasing the first RSCK office in order to facilitate meetings and the implementation of policy. During his term, there were numerous workshops and meetings on issues such as Child Protection Protocols, Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation, Pre- and Post-Election Violence, Gender, Ethnic clashes, Hunger and Famine, Social Analysis vis-à-vis slum conditions, governance, et cetera.

He also worked on improving the RSCK regional meetings, bringing all the Superiors together to discuss issues of Evangelisation, Justice and Peace, formation and advocacy on many national humanitarian issues.

He also played a crucial role in helping RSCK member congregations on other issues in the judicial, financial and legal fields, plus his informal mediatory role in trying to resolve the Kenya post election violence..

Fr Devine has also made a major contribution to establishing a much closer collaboration and cooperative relationship between the RSCK and the KEC. Bishop David Kamau, the current bishop chairman of the Liaison Commission for Clergy and Religious said Fr. Devine had contributed a lot to the structural development of the commission. This Commission is composed of representatives of the Kenyan Episcopal Conference, the AOSK, the RSCK and KNDPA.

“Many members from these associations have received educational assistance for poor children and schools in many neglected parts of Kenya through Fr. Devine’s fund raising, which were distributed through the offices of RSCK over the last four years,” said the Bishop.

Fr. Devine was instrumental in the development of the Church-owned PACIS Insurance Company, which has greatly-helped RSCK personnel in practical aspects of their missionary work. During Fr. Devine’s tenure, there has been the increased professionalism of the RSCK in terms of administration and accountability.

Fr. Devine’s reflection on conflict resolution and reconciliation and the need to develop related Institutes of Formation and Education had been presented to the Kenyan and AMECEA delegates to the Synod for Africa. Fr. Paulino Mondo, a theologian of the Kenya Episcopal Conference for the delegates of the Synod for Africa informed the assembly that Fr. Devine’s submission on Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation was included in the ‘Interventions’ of the Kenyan and AMECEA delegates at the Synod for Africa and made a substantial contribution to Proposition 21 on Peace. The said submission was also published by Catholic Information Service for Africa (CISA) and the National Mirror newspaper.

Bishop Kamau heaped praises to Fr Devine’s support to all the RSCK Superiors and their members who experienced the pain of having their members murdered or dying of natural causes, and indeed to members who suffered trauma in other ways.

While engaging in all these activities, he also managed to take classes, do research, and study for a Masters Degree in Peace Studies and International Relation in the last two years, graduating with Suma Cum Laude.

Meanwhile, the Secretary General – Kenya Episcopal Conference, the management and staff of KEC-Catholic Secretariat applauded Fr. Devine for his personal and institutional achievements.

“We look forward to the Shalom Centre for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation,” said Fr. Wambugu, the KEC Secretary General.

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