December 24th, 2009
BTB brought you exclusive video of the Catholic Archbishop of Uganda’s denunciation of the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill in his annual Christmas message from Rubaga Cathedral. Thanks to BTB reader Lynn David, we now have the full text of that message below.
The Catholic Church in Uganda Against Homosexuality bill
We, the Catholic Bishops of Uganda, appreciate and applaud the Government\’s effort to protect the traditional family and its values.
The Catholic Church is clear in its teaching on homosexuality. Church teaching remains that homosexual acts are immoral and are violations of divine and natural law. The Bible says that homosexuality is strictly forbidden (Lev. 18:22) “Do Not lie with a man as one lies with a woman, that is detestable”, Further more the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that ” Homosexual acts are contrary to the natural law, and under no circumstances can they be approved.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2357)
However, the Church equally teaches the Christian message of respect, compassion, and sensitivity. The Church has always asked its followers to hate the sin but to love the sinner. Considering the fact that all are called by God to fulfill his Will in their lives and to repent of their sins (Mk1:14-15) “After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Homosexuals have the need of conversion and repentance. They also need support, understanding and love as all strive to be members of the Kingdom of God
The recent tabled Anti-Homosexuality Bill does not pass a test of a Christian caring approach to this issue. The targeting of the sinner, not the sin, is the core flaw of the proposed Bill. The introduction of the death penalty and imprisonment for homosexual acts targets people rather than seeking to counsel and to reach out in compassion to those who need conversion, repentance, support and hope. The bible says in Luke 6:36-37 “Be merciful just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.”
Further more, the Proposal to prosecute those who fail to disclose information regarding homosexual acts puts at risk of the breach of confidentiality and professional ethics of persons such as Parents, Priests, Counselors, Teachers, Doctors and Leaders, at a time when they offer support and advise for rehabilitation of homosexuals. The proposed Bill does not contain clauses encouraging homosexuals to be rehabilitated. As a Catholic Church, we have a mission to reach out to all of the people of God as Christ showed no one is beyond God\’s mercy and love, “In Mt 9:10-13, while Jesus was at table in his house, many tax Collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus… The Pharisees saw this and said to his Disciples, Why does your Teacher eat with Tax Collectors and sinners? He heard this and said, Those who are well do not need a Physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire Mercy not sacrifice, I did not come to call the Righteous, but sinners.”
The criminalizing of such reaching out is at odds with the core values of the Christian faith.
Additionally, in our view the proposed Bill is not necessary considering that acts of sodomy are already condemned under section 145 of the penal code.
+Cyprian. K. Lwanga
ARCHBISHOP OF KAMPALA
23rd December 2009
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Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
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