Some human rights activists are agents of the devil, Papal Nuncio to Uganda, Archbishop Michael August Blume has said.
“They tell you about condom use, infidelity, homosexuality and adultery. They talk about injectaplan and insist on abortion; they promote sale of children. None of these are human rights but works of the devil,” he said.
Clarifying the matter, the papal envoy said there are pertinent issues that are purely evil but are being promoted by some NGOs and civil society activists under the guise of upholding human rights.
Such evils, the Archbishop said, are tearing families apart.
The church in Uganda emphasises natural family planning methods and opposes family planning as a way of child birth control. The church’s position therefore is abstinence for the yet-to-marry and faithfulness among the married.
The Ugandan laws too denounce acts of homosexuality and Parliament had passed the Anti-Homosexuality law although it was in 2014 declared null and void after human rights’ activists challenged it saying it was passed without the required quorum.
“Today in our society, there are too many things; too many people who want to tell us how to live without Christ,” he said.
He asked communities to desist from such pressures for the good of families.
The Archbishop was on his pastoral visit to Sebei region last week where he wedded 14 couples at Kapchorwa Boma grounds. He urged couples to remain faithful to each other and ask for forgiveness to ensure stronger families.
Human rights activists react
Responding to the Archbishop’s remarks, Reproductive Health Uganda’s Country Director, Mr Jackson Chekweko told Daily Monitor yesterday that he cannot be carried away by such remarks coming from the Catholic hierarchy since emphasis is on the promotion of natural family planning methods.
“These are less efficient and effective compared to modern family planning,” he said. He faults the leader for failing to recognise the needs of believers.
Mr Chekweko expressed disappointment that such comments were made in Kapchorwa District, which has the highest fertility rate now at 8.2 per cent.
“Thirty per cent of women in Uganda use modern family planning and these include staunch followers of the catholic faith which has the largest population in Uganda,” Mr Chekweko said.
He added: “With all due respect to the Papal Nuncio, Uganda needs family planning. Anybody who speaks against it is against Uganda too. Would a church leader be happy to preside over a funeral of a mother who dies during the birth of her tenth child?”
Prof Anthony Mbonye, the Ag Director General of Ministry of Health explained that the purpose of family planning is to fight three evils that are killing many. “HIV/Aids, unplanned and unwanted pregnancies and abortion among young people. Anybody fighting against these evils is a hero,” Mr Mbonye said by telephone yesterday.
Family Planning is enshrined in many programmes of the Ugandan government and many countries across the globe.
The Ministry of Health Adolescent Health Policy, Ministry of Finance Population Policy, the National Development Plan and Vision 2040 all promote sustainable family vices, family planning being key.