African Bishops at Vatican Meeting Wary of Western Sexual Radicals
VATICAN, October 17 (C-Fam) At an Extraordinary Synod of Catholic bishops taking place in Rome at least one African bishop has complained about the intervention of radical sexual mores being imposed upon Africa by the West.
Nigerian Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama told the assembly,
“We are confronted with some issues, and sometimes [they are] quite perplexing. We recently had a big conference on pro-life issues, and in that conference, we came out very clearly to ascertain the fact that life is sacred, marriage is sacred, and the family has dignity.
“We get international organizations, countries, and groups which like to entice us to deviate from our cultural practices, traditions, and even our religious beliefs. And this is because of their belief that their views should be our views. Their opinions and their concept of life should be ours.
“We say, No we have come of age.”
Though the Archbishops concerns did not make it into the final document, they point up one of the central divides not just between Western countries and Africa but a similar split in the Catholic Church.
The document produced by the Synod that was released this past Monday was full of concerns of liberal Westerners and not much for those in the developing world which now makes up a majority of the Catholic Church.
The document released on Monday was supposed to represent the conversation among 180 bishops from around the world and would be the blue print for ongoing negotiations. Immediately 41 Bishops, almost a quarter of the total rose in complaint that the document did not represent their wishes or the conversations that took place last week.
The document suggests there are gifts given to homosexuals that can benefit the Church, that the church must recognize what is good in homosexual relationships, and also what is good in couples living together without marriage. The document also suggests that the divorced and civilly remarried may receive the sacrament of communion.
The document was read to the bishops on Monday shortly before it was released to the Vatican press and immediately 41 bishops formally complained including such influential prelates as Cardinal Raymond Burke of the Vatican supreme court, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, Cardinal George Pell of Australia, along with Cardinal Gerhard Muller who heads the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, one of the most powerful Vatican posts.
The day after it was released at the daily Vatican briefing Cardinal Wilfred Napier of South Africa said the document did not reflect the conversation of the Synod fathers and that it would be changed in subsequent days.
So alarmed was he that Cardinal Burke called for the direct intervention of Pope Francis who was said to have attended all the meetings last week but only sat and listened.
The document has been handed over to smaller groups of bishops gathered in language groups and will be revised and presented again at the end of this week.
No matter what, it is unlikely the concerns of the 36 African prelates will be included. It is said the powerful German Bishops conference is the most influential group at the Synod. The German church is among the richest in the world because of direct taxation of all citizens in support of the Church.