At the Synod of Bishops, the Bishops of Africa have spoken out strongly in defense of the family.
As Archbishop Kaigama, the archbishop of Jos, who is representing Nigeria, told me over dinner, the family is essential in Africa. He also explained that Jos is at the epicenter of Boko Haram, and that he knows he could face his Maker any day and lives that way – ready to give an account for the hope that is in him.
The same holds true for the Bishop of Ghana, who was also at the dinner. These bishops' countries are poor and struggling with hardship, but those same stresses have made them fight for their families. When Ghana Bishop Osei-Bonsu told me about how his country has resisted the pressure from foreign governments to implement ‘gay rights’ I was amazed that protecting the family was put ahead of the allure of monetary aid.
Obianuju Ekeocha, a great friend and warrior for life and family who runs ‘Culture of Life Africa,’ gave a short intervention at a conference where John Smeaton and I spoke Tuesday. She noted that in Africa, troubled by poverty and war, family is all they have and that Africans will stand up and fight for family. That is why the African bishops are standing strong.
Another example of a bishop from a war-torn country standing for family is His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk of the Ukranian Greek Catholic Church. Speaking of the pain and suffering in Ukraine, he said: “For Ukrainians family is the last defense of human dignity. At the moment when your world is falling apart a family is your last defense. This is why there is big respect and the sanctity of the Christian family.”