, 03 October, 2019 / 3:14 AM
In a country where cases of corruption involving colossal sums of money have often made headlines, the leadership of the Catholic Church in Kenya is making an intervention that will see Bishops make a commitment at a national event that will bring together clergy, women and men religious, and laity from across the East African country, one of the organizers told ACI Africa Wednesday.
“I would like the Christians who will be present to really observe the movements of the Bishops as they move from the Church to the main sanctuary and then come back,” Fr. Josiah Muthee told ACI Africa Wednesday in a veiled disclosure of the gestures of commitment that will accompany the Bishops’ declaration to fight against corruption on Saturday, October 5.
Fr. Muthee who is the National Executive Secretary of the Commission of Pastoral and Lay Apostolate of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) said the commitment to fight corruption will also take the form of prayer and clarified, “The prayer does not really put blame on anybody but we want to make it a realization as a Church, we need to say no (to corruption) under all circumstances and at all costs.”
The event will take place at the Village of Mary Mother of God Shrine, Subukia, 210 kilometres west of Kenya’s capital Nairobi as part of the National Prayer Day convened by KCCB.
In preparation for the commitment, some Kenyan Bishops were recorded in a video shared on social media. In the video, the Bishops decry corruption in the country and describe it as a “curse”, a “monster”, and a “Goliath” that the Church leaders as “David” are keen at crushing.
“It is an indisputable fact that corruption has pervaded our society and our Kenyan nation to the extent that it needs to be addressed with measures that will ensure that this monster is crushed,” Bishop John Oballa Owaa of Ngong says in the video.
“Our country has been faced by tremendous and terrible evil that we even call a curse of corruption, a culture that has grown that everything has to be done contrary first even to the law and above all against the law of God,” Archbishop Anthony Muheria of Nyeri says in the video.
The Archbishop disagrees with those who look at the Church as incapable of fighting the challenge of corruption saying, “Skeptics were the skeptics of David. How can you do it against Goliath? Well, with God’s grace, the Church believes that the Lord wants this as the right moment, this is the ripe time, this is the time Kenyans can take it more personally. It’s about conscience now, it’s not a political move. It’s not anthropological. It’s about conscience-good and evil and the choice for blessings or God forbid for curse upon ourselves and our country.”
According to the 2018 Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International, Kenya ranked position 144 out of 180 countries listed in the index, which ranks countries “by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople.”
According to Bishop Oballa, Kenyans can participate in the campaign against corruption by attending the (Saturday) launch so that they “see for themselves exactly what’s taking place, rising first of all from the example we (Bishops) have set as shepherds.”
More than just attending the launch, the Bishop who chairs the Commission for Justice and Peace (CJPC) under KCCB has urged Kenyans “to resolve to take this commitment themselves and not just by word but to truly interrogate themselves and take a stand against corruption and break this chain.”
Other activities that will take place during the prayer day, which is set to attract an estimated 25,000-30,000 Christians include the launch of the Extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019 (EMMOCT2019) as well as the renewal of baptismal promises, in line with the theme of the mission month “Baptized and Sent.”
The annual event will be animated by Mombasa ecclesiastical province, comprising of Mombasa Archdiocese, Garissa Diocese as well as Malindi Diocese.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa