Thursday January 23 2014

When a nun gives birth...

By Mike Ssegawa

There is something about nuns. They look angelic. I remember my niece Viola telling me, “Uncle, I want to be a nun.” She still wants to be one. I know she must be adoring their way of life. Wonderful people.

I have been privileged in the past to have a few nuns for friends. They were very caring people – believe me. To be a nun, is indeed a special calling. May God bless them. Now, I don’t have any one I know in the convent – I lost all the contacts. I miss their kindness.

Nuns do great work for God. You could find some who take care of the sick – and they do it 101 per cent. Some take care of abandoned children, doing it with more love than the real mothers of children. For some nuns like the one from El Salvador who gave birth to a bouncing baby boy in Italy, they take care of the elderly people.

But this nun has shocked the world. She recently gave birth to a baby boy. Some people have expressed shock wondering how a nun could give birth. So i was when I first heard about it. But then, why not? She is a woman. She is fertile. She can take care of her child. Her conscience is clear – she is lucky.
I know someone is thinking about celibacy. Oh yes – but there is no evidence that the nun is question has contravened her vows. Nuns observe celibacy – it is a requirement of them by law of the church. And it is good to live a celibate life.

I am, however, wowed to read about some research, a study on reproductive health published in the British Medical Journal.
“One in 200 US women claim to have given birth without ever having had sexual intercourse.” You are as surprised as I am. I want to hear someone in Uganda reporting this “miracle” because I know more than 200 women but none has given birth without reporting someone responsible.

The study goes on to say that women who reported “virgin births” didn’t use any natural (read sexual intercourse) or assisted reproductive technology like in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).
The journal noted that virgin births have happened over the years.

They called them “parthenogenesis” (from the Greek parthenos for virgin and genesis for birth). And they mainly occur in non-humans as a consequence of “asexual reproduction, where growth and development of the embryo occurs without fertilisation”. But, the nun is human.

That information was interesting to me as it is to you. But then, like the bible says, there is nothing new under the sun.
In my faith, I believe without question that Mary the mother of Jesus (a virgin) had the privilege to give birth to child Jesus. I am sure Mary had the same questions this particular nun is facing today. People judge each other that harshly.

I don’t want to say the nun sneaked out of the convent to make a baby – it wouldn’t befair, especially since she was surprised that her cramps turned out to be a baby. I just wonder what the sisters in the society of Little Disciples of Jesus are thinking of her. What are they going to do with her?
If it was my daughter Sheba telling those stories, I would not hesitate to bring out my fimbo to force her spill the beans. But, for this nun’s case, I don’t know what to say.

I wonder if the nuns believe their sister’s story. What are the chances the virgin birth is possible in a little convent in Italy today? And what if a man took advantage of the sister and snatched what “belongs” to God?

Well, well, well, I cannot stop imagining a nun breastfeeding her baby before her prayers. Or what fellow nuns would feel like seeing one of their own having the special but stressful schedule of raising her little baby. Envious?

I wish they would embrace the new mother, to go ahead with her service to the congregation uninterrupted, and without inquest into her behaviour, allow little Baby Francis (baby was named after the pope] to grow in that love and care at the convent. I am sure he would be a special child.