Nigerian archbishop makes strong defense of natural family ahead of Synod
JOS, Nigeria, August 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- African Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama did not mince words about same-sex “marriage” in an address earlier this week opening his archdiocese’s general assembly, telling delegates that Nigerian bishops will stand firm on defending marriage as exclusively between a man and woman.
“The culture of ‘same-sex marriage’ is alien to our understanding of the family and should not be imposed on Nigerians,” he told priests, nuns, and lay delegates partaking in the August 24-28 assembly in the Archdiocese of Jos, Nigeria.
Last year Nigeria was condemned by the West for passing a law which prohibited same-sex “marriage” as well as propagandizing by the homosexual lobby. The Nigerian Catholic bishops, however, congratulated the government for the law’s passage, calling the decision in a January 2014 letter “courageous … and a clear indication of the ability of our great country to stand shoulders high in the protection of our Nigerian and African most valued cultures of the institution of marriage and protection of the dignity of the human person.”
Kaigama criticized “international organizations and the media” in his address for distorting the letter to make it appear as if the country’s Catholic bishops were “advocating severe punishment of gays or lesbians with long prison terms” when instead they were “highlighting our biggest concern that marriage must be BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN [caps in original prepared text], in accordance with our cultural and religious norms.”
“This is a deliberate distraction and a wicked deviation from what is our primary concern,” he said, adding that the Catholic Bishops’ position remains “No to ‘same-sex marriage.”
“As we say in Nigeria, ‘No shaking,’ he added.
Kaigama said that Pope Francis has made it clear that defending the family from various attacks is essential for the renewal of society.
“Since our theme for this year's Assembly is on the family, we must guide against those things that Pope Francis listed in his recent address while visiting Bolivia, threatening to destroy the family: domestic violence, alcoholism, drug addiction, unemployment, abandonment of the elderly, etc. He stressed that the family as the foundation of human society is ‘The basic cell of society which fosters the solid bonds of unity on which human existence is based and through the bearing and education of children, ensures the future and the renewal of society,’” he said.
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At last year’s Synod on the Family in Rome, the archbishop made a bold intervention in which he strongly emphasized the sacredness of marriage and of life while powerfully exposing the anti-life-and-family agenda of the population control lobby that he said was strongly at work in Africa.
"Now you [Foreign aid organizations] come to tell us about reproductive rights, and you give us condoms and artificial contraceptives. Those are not the things we want. We want food, we want education, we want good roads, regular light, and so on. Good health care,” he said.
While the outspoken champion of Catholic orthodoxy will not be attending the last round of the Synod on the Family this October, he told CruxNow in an interview this week that any Nigerian bishop who takes his place will never compromise with what the faith teaches about marriage, sexuality, and the family.
“You could wake up any bishop in Nigeria from his sleep and ask for his opinion on issues related to the family, and they’d all say more or less precisely the same thing, almost word-for-word.”
“On these matters, we are absolutely of one mind,” he said.