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Head of Uganda’s Catholic Church Rejects Anti-Gay Bill

Jim Burroway

January 11th, 2010

Uganda’s largest independent newspaper The Monitor reports:

The titular head of the Catholic Church in Uganda has weighed in on the proposed anti-homosexuality law, saying he rejects it because it is “at odds with the core values” of Christians. But while Kampala Archbishop Cyprian Lwanga’s opposition to the 2009 Anti-Homosexuality Bill is based on compassion, the cleric retains the view that homosexuality is immoral and violates God’s will. “The Bible says homosexuality is strictly forbidden,” Dr Lwanga said in a statement made public yesterday.

“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… In our view, the proposed [law] is not necessary considering that acts of sodomy are already condemned in the Penal Code.”

…Still, in a country where homosexuality is taboo and where many preachers have condemned gays, Dr Lwanga’s comments will be seen as unlikely opposition to a piece of legislation that proposes death or life imprisonment for gay people.

Based on the Montor’s reporting, it appears that the Bishop may have rejected the entire Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and not just the death penalty provision. The Monitor carefully distinguishes this difference between the Catholic bishop’s position and that of the Anglican Church in Uganda:

Essentially, however, Dr Lwanga’s views run counter to the position of Uganda’s Anglican community, whose leaders have supported the proposed law but opposed the death penalty, and alienate junior priests who have expressed contrary views. In Uganda’s Pentecostal community, where pastors like Martin Ssempa have supported the proposed law in its current shape, homophobia is even more intense.

About 42% of Ugandans are Roman Catholic.

Click here to see BTB’s complete coverage of recent anti-gay developments in Uganda.

Comments

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John B. Chilton
January 11th, 2010 | LINK

I suspect this is not a fresh statement but rather is the pre-Christmas statement that Bishop Llwanga made. BTB reported on this earlier in a couple of posts.

John
January 11th, 2010 | LINK

This is the first time I’ve seen this.

It’s about bloody time His Grace spoke up.

anteros
January 11th, 2010 | LINK

This statement sounds new. It’s a lot clearer in its opposition to the bill than both Lwanga’s pre-christmas statement and his christmas sermon. Perhaps the Monitor or Lwanga himself noticed the inaccurate reports of both his December messages (reported by Ugandan media as being opposed to only certain aspects of the bill such as the death penalty, life sentence as opposed to imprisonment altogether, and the reporting of homosexuals to authorities) and wanted to clarify. The article did say this statement was issued yesterday.

BobN
January 12th, 2010 | LINK

Notice there’s no call for removing existing punishments of years in prison.

“Compassion” my a**.

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