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KAKAMEGA, Kenya (LifeSiteNews) — The Bishop of Kakamega stressed the importance of protecting students and Catholic values as African countries continue to cling to the Church despite backlash.  

On June 23, Bishop Joseph Obanyi Sagwe of Kakamega, Kenya, addressed students, parents, and teachers during the annual diocesan education day, emphasizing the dignity of the human person and the family.  

“The Catholic Church believes in teaching the education that gives values and impacts morals so that this person is not only useful to himself or herself, but this person becomes an asset to human society,” he stated.   

Bishop Sagwe urged students to look beyond attaining high grades or receiving awards, instead aiming for a higher goal. 

“They (children) must be helped to realize their potentialities,” he declared. “They must be helped to realize the best that God has prepared for them. They must be helped to realize their personhood as God created them. 

Rejoice in your dignity as a child of God 

He stressed the importance of recognizing the dignity of each human person, especially in a world which has lost that value. 

“There are now dangers in the world, in ideologies, in political statements, in laws that have been put in place,” he revealed. “They reduce a person from being a person.” 

Bishop Sagwe challenged transgender ideology, rejecting that it is a “human right” for a boy to declare that he is now a girl. 

“The human right is what God created you to be,” he stated.  

“Rejoice at the end of the day that your name is written in heaven,” he added.  

While “many of us want to be praised here, we want to be recognized,” the prelate said, he stressed that the only recognition worth fighting for is from God.    

“It’s often possible that you can do your best and nobody recognizes you,” he said. “In fact, in Kenya, the people who are working so hard have never been recognized. I’ve never seen them anywhere in the newspaper. I don’t see them on the radio. The media focuses more on the wrong people instead of on the right people.” 

The bishop stated that the dignity of the human person is now “pegged on how useful that person is,” causing a human person to become a “commodity.” 

“So, people become commodities,” he lamented. “We are beginning to use people as commodities and reduce them from the human values that God has created them to be.” 

The dangers of Communism 

Bishop Sagwe warned against allowing this belief to take root, saying, “Let us avoid the danger you remember, the systems that came in.” 

“Communism does not recognize individuals,” he stated. “Communism recognizes a community of utilitarian persons.” 

He further cautioned that some places have “tried to live the philosophy of Communism by doing away with all useless people.” 

“Let us avoid the danger of promoting philosophies and ideologies that reduce a person to a thing,” the prelate advised.  

“An educated country without values and the morals may not help much, and that’s why as a Church we also believe in the education in terms of morals and values,” he added. 

Bishop Sagwe stressed the importance of schools in forming the youth and instilling Catholic values in their lives.  

“Therefore, school shall never become a hospital or a market,” he declared. “It shall never become a place where we do politics.” 

“A school is a sacred place where God has blessed for those young people,” he added, “to mold them after the Heart of Jesus.” 

“I commit myself always to stand for the schools, for education, and for the best that comes to our young people,” the bishop vowed.  

“The best interests of the child come first,” he continued. “So, whatever promotes the child is what we should all promote, and whatever negates the promotion of that child, we should avoid at all costs.” 

African countries are increasingly placing their children above political agendas despite facing backlash from Western countries. In June, African leaders urged U.S. Congress to keep abortion funding out of HIV/AIDS programs. 

Similarly, in May, 22 countries from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe united to stop the United States government from imposing pro-LGBT “sex education” on children. 

Bishop Sagwe urged the leaders to continue their work, reminding them that “the best legacy you can leave with this county is the education of our children.” 

“Let us promote what is the best interest for them, let us die for them because it’s the best gift that God has given us,” he entreated.  

“Dear people of God, our young people, we value you, we believe in you, and where you are, we believe that you are getting the best that helps you to live as human persons,” he declared. 

“God bless you in your studies, and may you all succeed so that you can realize the Lord our God in this world,” he concluded.