Kenya’s Catholics want continued civic education

August 19, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 19 – The Kenya Episcopal Conference has emphasised the need for continuous civic education on the new Constitution.

Kisumu Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth said the Catholic Church was committed to this and wanted both political and civic organisations to follow suit since it would ensure all Kenyans understand the contents of the new law.

“During the Constitution reform and campaign period, we the pastors of the church noted with greater force the need to continually provide a proper integral and balanced moral and civic education to all,” he said at a press conference addressed by Catholic Bishops.

Cardinal John Njue also called for tolerance following the referendum vote.

“The Church desires an authentic reform process and will remain at the forefront to support a good Constitution and the legal reform process in this country,” he said. “This reform process cannot end (and) must not end since we all aspire to build a better society.”

He urged everyone to uphold respect for moral norms which are a necessary safeguard for the dignity of a person and which form the basis for social order.

“We assert that these divine laws expressed to us through natural law are and must remain pre-eminent over all human laws including the Constitution and Acts of Parliament which ought to be always designed and interpreted in ways that give effect to natural law,” he said.

The Catholic Church had campaigned against the ratification of the Constitution in the just concluded referendum. The church argued that a clause on the right to life contained loopholes that could allow abortion on demand.

It was also opposed to the inclusion of the Kadhi Courts in the new Constitution, arguing that it elevated one religion above others and was contrary to the doctrine of separation of powers.

On Thursday, the Bishops insisted that the government should keep its pre-referendum pledge that amendments to the contentious issues would be made once the new Constitution was in place.


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