AFRICA/KENYA - Kenyan delegation presents expectations and hopes of Kenyan Catholics at synod

Thursday, 5 October 2023 synod of bishops   local churches  

Nairobi ( Fides News Agency) - The expectations and hopes of Kenyan Catholics are being brought to the Assembly of the Synod of Bishops by the Kenyan delegation, represented by the President of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), Archbishop Martin Kivuva Musonde of Mombasa, and Archbishop Antony Muheria of Nyeri, who also recently assumed the post of Apostolic Administrator of Embu.
Archbishop Muheria, stated that the views of Kenyan Catholics have been gathered at the diocesan level and include concerns about marriage, approachability of priests, inclusion of people with disabilities, support for youth, financial accountability, and transparency.
Faithful Catholics expressed concern about support for the institution of marriage, pointing out that there is an emphasis on failure rather than guidance for young couples, those living with disabilities, and couples with young children.
"We received feedback that the Church should focus on supporting families, especially those in difficult marriages, instead of telling them to avoid divorce," Bishop Muheria stressed.
"The faithful also asked that we look into the issue of polygamy because decades ago society got rid of this practice but now it is back and more and more people are engaging in it. As a Church we need to address this issue," added the Archbishop of Nyeri.
The Kenyan faithful then expressed their desire for priests to be more humane and communicate with their own without imposing unreasonable conditions for offering the sacraments.
"The faithful want priests to be approachable and available during funerals, baptisms, and weddings without conditions that prevent them from administering the sacraments," Bishop Muheria stressed, recalling that several Catholics are concerned that some of the demands made by priests are driving people away from the Church.
The faithful also asked the Church to pay attention to financial accountability and transparency of church funds.
"We have heard calls for greater accountability and transparency in the management of Church finances at all levels."
In conclusion, the Archbishop of Nyeri reiterated that the Church is creating a space for forgiveness, inclusion, and hope for all those who have previously been excluded: "We need to cultivate a sense of inclusion for people who have been excluded from society, such as people with disabilities, young people struggling with addiction, and single parents." (LM) (Fides News Agency 5/10/2023)