Catholic Church soldiers on against challenges

Sunday March 24 2013

By Raymond Mpubani

A priest decides to speak out about things everyone knows happens in the Catholic Church, things contrary to their so-called doctrines, and the Church reacts to his concerns by suspending him! However, if you’re familiar with that Church and the way it reacts to questioning, and if you’re also familiar with the leadership that made the decision, this hypocrisy should not shock you. What’s most worrying is that many people, Catholics and non-Catholics, support the Church’s decision!

It’s unfortunate the Church has decided to blind it’s eyes and foolishly soldier on against reality. That way, the perversity lodged in their clergy, the perversity Fr. Musaala is being punished for speaking out against, will erode away at them until they cannot hide their heads in the sand any longer.

Although, I think, they know. The Church already lost the celibacy war and the only reason they still insist on the vow for new clergy is because of their blind allegiance to “Canon Law.” Sure, some priests observe the vow religiously, but those are stained by their more normal colleagues and the perverts (the paedophiles).

What the Church is now saying is that it’d rather nurture sinners (because that’s what you become when you break the vow) than scrap the unrealistic stipulation that forces them to sin. Ah, narrow-mindedness!

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82-year-old author Chinua Achebe dies

Like a friend said, quoting someone on the BBC on Friday when it was announced that Chinua Achebe had died, every African child read Achebe’s Things Fall Apart in their lifetime.

It’s lazy to quote Wikipedia, but in this instance they say it better than I could have: “It is seen as the archetypal modern African novel in English, and one of the first African novels written in English to receive global critical acclaim.”

It does not do adequate justice to the man to describe his legacy using one book, but it’s near-perfect, so it’s a very good hand. Things Fall Apart, and No Longer at Ease which follows it and is stitched with the same thread, tells of the conflict between traditional sub-Saharan Africa and modern sub-Saharan Africa better than anything else written, composed, spoken or thought about the subject. It’s simply written, in the “is and was” diction mentioned in No Longer at Ease, but that simplicity belies the complexity and depth of its characters and themes which give the novel it’s greatness.

Achebe was a rare talent. He distilled the complexity of our identity loss and put it into a few pages. He thereafter built a legacy of a discerning literary statesman. Like Teju Cole put it, “Achebe was well known throughout the seven continents and even beyond. His fame rested on solid personal achievements.”

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Museveni denies persecution of gays in Uganda

One of the newspaper headlines I’ll never forget from my childhood, actually one of the few headlines from then that I still remember, is a New Vision headline about President Museveni saying homosexuals should be killed.

I didn’t read the story because I saw the paper on a stand (and because even then I knew what paper to read) but I think he was making the same argument Bahati and his fellow zealots are saying: that the state should kill people for the way they have sex.

This week, while meeting a delegation led by Ms Kerry Kennedy, the president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, an American-based human rights organisation, he sang a different song. He said homosexuals have existed in Africa for a long time, regarded as deviants but never persecuted. The same applies today: deviants, but stories of their persecution are wrong.

The President is misinformed, unfortunately. That applies to his assurance that there’s no persecution as well as to his claim that Westerners use money to recruit youths into homosexuality: that is hogwash.

Yet, it is reassuring if the President has changed his attitude from the 90’s hell and brimstone guy. We should separate civil from religious; the State has no right to kill people because of their sexual orientation.

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Mugabe sneaks into Rome, while Khama prefers home

Robert Mugabe, the tired old liability who’s also Zimbabwe’s President, is banned from travelling to the European Union.

As such, he is always forced to look elsewhere for his leisurely (and luxurious, considering who he’s married to) sojourns abroad or whenever he has to seek medical treatment. Last week, however, the ingenious old liability found a way to slip into Europe, flying to Rome for a visit to the Vatican for the Pope’s inauguration.

That’s the kind of stuff he is become an expert at: finding clever ways around obstacles, and any foreign trip abroad he can take while his people suffer. Remember he was here for President Museveni’s swearing in, and also came back for the Golden Jubilee Independence Celebrations. It probably livens up the humdrum of governing a sick country, which he’s not doing very well.

In the same week, the Botswanans explained why their President, one of Africa’s best, shuns foreign travel, Mugabe’s source of fun. Ian Khama, the President, has not attended any AU summit since 2009, saying it’s not worth it and, anyway, he has more pressing local engagements.

“You are given seven to 10 minutes to speak and then you come back home and you say it is worth flying all the way and spending all that money for seven minutes,” he said. If all Presidents thought like him…

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