(LifeSiteNews) — We often hear how the Catholic Church in Africa is preserving the faith as it was always taught while the Church in Europe and America is riddled with errors.
My guest on this episode of The John-Henry Westen Show is Archbishop Philip Anyolo of the Archdiocese of Nairobi, Kenya. I believe his archdiocese gives us a good glimpse of the reaction to LGBT ideology in the Church. I also speak to two of his priests in this episode, Father Michael Ndiku, secretary to the archbishop, and Father Simon Kamomoe, head of the archdiocese’s Family Life Department.
According to Anyolo, there is a need to support the traditional family because the family serves as the “first Church” where the “first faith” of the human person is formed. “Even without talking about it, we are already aware that from our understanding and our deposit of faith, that God created man and He created man and woman in His own image and likeness,” he tells me. “So in that manner … in that family is where God starts also creating that and replicating that image of Himself in the coming generations.”
While following the spirit of synodality in the Church, he explains, Africa is convinced that the family is how the Church should grow. The Church, in other words, should be rooted and grounded in the dignity of the natural family.
Responding to a question about pressure from the United States and Europe for Africa to stop opposing LGBT ideology, something seen with the reaction to Uganda’s anti-sodomy law, Anyolo makes an interesting observation. He notes that the more the family is destroyed in a society, the more that society will crumble, even though what is done in those societies is called “progressive” in some way. In his mind, what should be emphasized is the fact that God is “pinned” onto the family.
He makes a similar remark about abortion, explaining that abortion is an act contrary to both the teachings of the Church and nature itself. “He speaks very strongly in how we react with one another naturally, without enforcing all these other artificial activities that come on and destroy our humanity as such,” says Anyolo about God.
In his opinion, if a man should marvel at his intellectual abilities and abandon the idea that there is one God who made the human family, he will then begin building Towers of Babel that will collapse, in the ruble of which God will begin to rebuild. He also says if a man pushes God aside, he will “go wrong.”
Fr. Ndichu shares a similar view to that of his archbishop. Ndichu once preached a sermon telling people that they were not obliged to obey immoral laws, laws violating natural rights, or laws contrary to the teaching of the Gospel. Therefore, Africans cannot accept Western aid money with the caveat of requiring them to accept ideologies contrary to African culture and Christian teaching.
He tells me that the family is the “basic cell” of society, and that without good family, there cannot be good society, and no good Church. As such, we must always return to the family as God intended it to be. It is because of this that we must defend the family, and challenges to the family need to be fought as strongly as possible.
One of these challenges is LGBT ideology, Ndichu tells me. While we know that we were created in the image of God, we need to value that image in us and appreciate His gift, since there are those advocating for LGBT “rights.”
“LGBTQ+ and such ideologies, for me, they are antithesis to human family,” says Ndichu. “They do not advocate any value, and actually they are abomination to the plan of God for creation. Therefore, we need to come very strong, and be very strong, especially from even our African perspective, where such cultures like LGBTQ are abhorred by our own culture, the Christian teaching, the Church teaching, and even within the Scripture themselves.”
If Scripture condemns homosexuality, Ndichu argues, then it is contrary to God’s will and cannot be accepted, because it is always an abomination.
Fr. Kamomoe, meanwhile, discusses the role of the family as an important part in evangelization. To him, evangelization is done in families, and that families themselves must be strengthened and protected against the “worldly negative forces” that militate against it and marriage.
“Family being a domestic church, that is where we should all start by inculcating the Christian culture, inculcating the Christian values in the lives of the children, so that every family should have the Christian philosophy, or rather, children should be socialized through Christian culture,” he says.
Kamomoe maintains that if children are taught Christian values in the context of the family, then even if they should be influenced through various forces in the world to leave the faith, then they would eventually come back because of their Christian foundation. This is why he seeks to have archdiocesan programs that will help form families, and why priests should preach among families and not just in the pulpit.
Parents are the first to evangelize their children, he explains, relating that when people complain about youth, his first thought is that the first people who failed the youth are their parents. Good parents, in his view, will be the good of the Church, and must be models of the Christian faith for their children’s upbringing. This is something he appreciates from his own parents, even though they seemed too strict to him at the time.
He also relates that there is a secular way of thinking he sees in people whom he prepares for marriage, namely in how they approach the amount of children they intend to have. Kamomoe believes this is because of a lack of willingness to make sacrifices and that the would-be parents see children not as gifts of God but as burdens. While his family did not have much while growing up, he recalls, God always provided.
“People have to accept that there was sacrifice before you celebrate,” he says. “You have to do a lot of sacrifice, and that is what many people are avoiding today. And without sacrifice, there is no glory. There’s no life without sacrifice. In fact, we celebrate … because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It’s a consequence of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.”
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