EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Uganda’s Catholic Archbishop Opposes Anti-Homosexuality Bill
December 24th, 2009
The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Uganda, Cyprian Lwanga, has denounced the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill in his annual Christmas message from Rubaga Cathedral.
In a report from Uganda’s independent NTV, Archbishop Lwanga is shown denouncing “the introduction of the death penalty and imprisonment for homosexual acts.” While maintaining the Catholic Church’s condemnation of homosexual acts, the Archbishop condemned the bill, saying it “targets people, rather than seeking to counsel and reach out in compassion to those who need conversion, repentance, support and hope.”
Approximately 42% of Ugandans are Roman Catholic, making Catholicism the country’s largest Christian denomination.
A BTB reader in Uganda provided this cell-phone capture of the Archbishop’s remarks from last night’s broadcast of NTV Eleven.
Update: We now have the full text of the Archbishop’s remarks.
Transcript of the NTV Eleven Broadcast.
I’m Morris Mugisha, good evening and thank you for joining us. Tonight, lobbyists against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill have been boosted with the backing from the head of the Catholic Church in Uganda.
While delivering his Christmas message today, at Rubaga Cathedral, the Archbishop of the Kampala Diocese, Dr. Cyprian Lwanga said, much as homosexuality is sin, the practice should be condemned but not those who practice it. He also opposed the death penalty for aggravated homosexuality and life imprisonment for gay acts. Since it was tabled in Parliament, the bill has caused an international furore, with some donors threatening to cut aid to Uganda if it’s passed into law. As Emma Mutayizibwa(?) reports, Archbishop Lwanga also spoke out against the Land Bill.
One of the leading clerics in the country, Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, has punched holes in the anti-gay bill, saying it does not conform to certain biblical teachings. Although Archbishop Lwanga says homosexuality epitomizes moral decadence, he denounced the proposed death sentence and life imprisonment penalties which the David Bahati bill… which the David Bahati Bill prescribes.
Archbishop Lwanga: “The introduction of the death penalty and imprisonment for homosexual acts targets people, rather than seeking to counsel and reach out in compassion to those who need conversion, repentance, support and hope.”
Many conservative religious leaders in Uganda have blown a moral trumpet against homosexuality, and support the proposed harsh punishments. But Archbishop Lwanga says, targeting the sinner and not the sin is a flaw.
Archbishop Lwanga: “The bible says in Luke 6:36-37, ‘be merciful as your Father is merciful. Do not judge and you’ll not be judged. Do not condemn and …not be condemned’.”
The bill has ruffled feathers of western powers, like the United States and Britain, as well as human rights activists. Bahati’s Bill. which proposes death for aggravated homosexuality and life imprisonment, was tabled in Parliament on 14th October, eliciting uproar in the west with donors threatening to cut aid if the bill is passed the way it is.
Archbishop Lwanga also says Parliament hurriedly passed the controversial Land Amendment Bill into law. He says the law fundamentally errors by placing a landlord and a tenant on equal footing.