, 18 January, 2021 / 7:51 PM
Church leaders in Africa are cautioning against the pro-choice agenda that is likely to be among key priorities of the new head of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the US entity administering foreign aid.
On January 13, the U.S. President-elect Joe Biden announced his nomination of Samantha Jane Power, a renowned diplomat and award-winning journalist as the next administrator of USAID, an entity responsible for various development programs around the world including Africa.
Samantha Power is supportive of pro-choice agenda, with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights being included among her previous “achievements.”
According to Church leaders in Africa who spoke to ACI Africa, Samantha Power’s stint at the helm of USAID will most probably lead to a cultural, ideological and Christian onslaught on the world’s second largest continent through the fostering of agenda that go against the African culture, such as abortion and homosexuality.
For Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of Nigeria’s Oyo Diocese, Samantha’s nomination to USAID already complicates a bad situation considering that the U.S. President-elect, despite being a Catholic, is said to be “the most radically-pro-abortion, pro LGBT President in American history.”
Under Biden’s Presidency, Bishop Badejo says, “it is almost certain that the church will suffer attacks for her opposing views to these odd policies. People should at least know the truth.”
“It is no surprise that he (Biden) has put Samantha Jane Power in charge of USAID. Under her, USAID will doubtlessly pursue an ideological and cultural onslaught against African religious and cultural values,” the Nigerian Bishop says.
To counter the impact of Samantha’s pro-choice agenda in Africa, Bishop Badejo says, “Faith needs to be strengthened to survive the conflict, which will ensue when belief comes face to face with exigency.”
He adds, "More than ever, Catholics in particular and Africans in general need awareness education so as to know what is really going on about the right to life and the gender ideological war.”
“We need focused education, we need appropriate catechesis, we need prophetic and truthful denunciation of the poison that will be offered to Africa as aids and development,” Bishop Badejo says, adding, “African governments (need to) be persuaded to courageously refuse some of the harmful aids offer that will surely be tossed at needy countries!”
Beyond education and catechesis, Bishop Badejo who is at the helm of the Pan-African Episcopal Committee for Social Communication (CEPACS) underscores the need to “pray, organize, communicate, and cooperate.”
“More than ever before, agents and structures of evangelization must be deployed to limit the damage to the sanctity of human life that seems already imminent in this appointment,” the 59-year-old Nigerian Bishop told ACI Africa Sunday, January 17 in reference to the nomination of Samantha Power as the Director of USAID, adding, “God help us!”
For the National Director of the Pontifical Missionary Societies (PMS) in Kenya, Fr. Bonaventure Luchidio, though Samantha’s nomination to the development agency and her subsequent elevation to the US National Security Council is a “big boost to the funding agency of needy countries,” he is wary that humanitarian aid to needy continents like Africa could have immoral strings attached.
“Though we need the funds for development support and humanitarian aid, it may sound unethical and immoral to attach strings that cut through the moral fabric and conscience of people to a development and humanitarian aid,” Fr. Luchidio told ACI Africa January 17.
As the award-winning journalist-cum-diplomat prepares to take office, Fr. Luchidio’s prayer is that she “will not persuade and influence other people's conscience and mind by proposing a pro-choice agenda towards aid to needy countries” as this “will be unethical and immoral at the same time.”
“May human dignity and preferential options to the poor be the guiding principles and concerns that take precedence in all aid given to needy countries without attaching aid to some practices that impair our conscience,” the Kenyan Cleric implores.
He goes on to appeal, “Let the people feel God's presence through the help they receive not for people to make their choices of good and bad.”
The separation of the humanitarian need from choices “will be good as an option for all to participate in the needy areas supported by USAID especially in the health sectors of HIV/AIDS awareness programs, procurement of vaccination medicines, job creation through NGO support and hypertensive and pressure related diseases not forgetting the eradication of tropical diseases,” Fr. Luchidio says.
As Samantha Power prepares to take office, the Kenya’s PMS National Director says the prayer of the Church in Africa is that “there be a true and real separation of ideologies between supporting needy countries with development and humanitarian aid as a unit in itself of ethical importance of sharing is caring concern; without any attached agenda or proposition of pro-choice agenda as a separate entity.”
Fr. Luchidio’s concern regarding the strings attached-humanitarian support by USAID is shared by the General Secretary of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Fr. Zacharia Samjumi who decries the unfair distribution of aid among entities depending on where their respective allegiances lie on the pro-choice agenda.
“Organizations which promote traditional values and pristine ethos are denied financial support for their culture-sensitive programs while those focusing on aberrant lifestyles, contraception and abortion receive handsome funding,” Fr. Samjumi has told ACI Africa.
The Nigerian Cleric bemoans what he terms as the “more brazen political subterfuge” orchestrated by agencies such as USAID on administrations that “dare oppose their coercion and inducement.”
Fr. Samjumi offers an example of Nigeria’s immediate former President, Goodluck Jonathan who “was literally snubbed by the Obama administration for signing the anti-gay marriage law despite concerted efforts by foreign forces for him to do otherwise. He lost the war against Islamic insurgency and lost his re-election bid as reward.”
“The abomination industry’s warfare across Africa is firm, decisive and ferocious, both at the ideological and programmatic levels,” he says and explains, “On the ideological sphere, educational curricula are being modified and legal landmines laid surreptitiously through euphemistic phrasing of laws so that the unsuspecting public are unaware of the snares lurking within.”
Regarding the programmatic sphere, Fr. Samjumi explains, “Socialization and entertainment programs are being remodeled to advance the covert objectives of the anti-life cultural imperialists including but not limited to confusing the impressionable minds of young school children about their own sexuality.”
The ideals being propagated by Western civilization through foreign aid agencies such as USAID have left many Catholics across Africa “living in a state of mental and social turbulence,” Fr. Samjumi observes.
“The confusion that this breeds can be mind-boggling,” he notes and poses, “How are we now expected to accept that killing of babies in the womb is a better option compared to bearing and nurturing them as persons created in the image and likeness of God?”
Making reference to the appointment of Samantha Power to USAID, the Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops of the Central African Republic (CAR), Fr. Joseph Tanga-Koti says that the actions propagated by her pro-choice worldview such as abortion are “part of a plan to reduce the population of Africa.”
Noting that some foreign agencies “really aim to promote abortion,” Fr. Joseph decries the “dire consequences” that such actions have on women such as “death, difficulty to have children, easy sex, prostitution, confusion about human dignity.”
“Pro Abortion and Pro Gay people and institutions must keep in mind that there is no name for abortion and homosexuality in African languages. The main reason for that is the absence of such realities in African cultures,” Sr. Paule Valérie Mendogo of the Congregation of the Sister Servants of Mary (Ssmd) in Cameroon’s Douala Archdiocese has told ACI Africa.
She notes that some agenda that fall in Samantha Power’s pro-choice worldview such as abortion “darkens the joy for procreation strongly inscribed in African culture and tradition, before being reinforced by the teaching of the Church.”
Observing that “the opinion of pro-abortion and pro-gay people is neither a theological milieu, nor a source for Revelation,” the Cameroon-based Sister says the wish of the faithful in Africa is “to see the end of manipulation organized for ages by lobbies and the mass media, which promote and seek means to force Africans to embark on a radically anti-Christian revolution.”
With a pro-choice agenda advocate at the helm of USAID, Bishop John Oballa Owaa of Kenya’s Ngong Diocese says it’s time for the people of God in Africa and “all those who care for religious moral values to be the compass for human society.”
Africans, Bishop Oballa says, are to be “on the alert to recognize and address direct and subtle strategies in publications and discussions on family issues.”
“There is need to be keen on recognizing any form of promotion of abortionist mentality, homosexual behavior and sexualization of children,” Bishop Oballa who heads the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC) of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) told ACI Africa January 17.
Addressing himself to advocates of religious moral values, Bishop Oballa says, “Be ready to be called names, such as being discriminatory, intolerant, insensitive and fanning hatred when flagging out unhealthy human behavior and the tendency to hide under protection of generic ‘human rights.’”
The attacks from pro-choice activists notwithstanding, the 62-year-old Kenyan Bishop says that advocates of pro-life “are inspired by deep love of God and the growth of the human family.”
Making reference to the Book of Proverbs, the Bishop further says, "Better a dry crust with peace than a house full of feasting with strife."
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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