Church heads criticise male circumcision

Monday May 23 2011

By Paul Aruho

The launch of safe male circumcision in Bushenyi District has been met with stiff resistance from church leaders, who say the practice is against morals.

Religious leaders said the way the medical people have packaged messages about male circumcision encourages people to go on sex rampage after the exercise.

The Rev. Can. Norbert Tibikoma, the Archdeacon for All Saints Church Greater Bushenyi, said the church will not compromise its morality.

“Telling people that circumcision will prevent them from the risk of HIV is very unfortunate. We have buried circumcised people who died of the disease. The way they are putting across their message of circumcision is like giving a licence to commit adultery.

It is like saying now you are free go and sin,” he said during the launch of the exercise last week.

He said the message from the church is that couples should remain faithful and those who are not yet married should abstain from premarital sex in order to avoid acquiring HIV.
The chaplain of Masheruka Girls SS, the Rev. Ananias Ntereyo, said the approach being used to promote male circumcision should be changed.

“Circumcision has been in existence for ages. Putting HIV/Aids at the fore will encourage people to have sex with multiple partners. We have seen those who are circumcised also getting the disease,” he said.

But the district medical officer, Dr Celestine Barigye, said religious leaders have a bigger role in educating people to get circumcised. “We count on religious leaders in this exercise. If they fail to embrace this programme it will be difficult for us,” he said.