Catholic Church has every right to comment on issues of national importance

I read with utter shock and disgust a Letter to the Editor in the Daily Nation of May, 26th in which the writer compares the adoration that Catholics have for the Blessed Virgin Mary to the wearing of studs. His argument is that the wearing of studs is a symbolism akin to praying before an image of Mary. Apart from comparing the two completely different things, the writer displays his complete ignorance on the matters and that of the Christian teaching on divorce. He further shows his lack of understanding of the issue of divorce by misquoting the gospel of Matthew.

The above notwithstanding, my main bone of contention with the writer is the fact that he believes that the Church should not have a say in matters affecting the society. He, however, contradicts himself on this matter in his article. On one hand he accuses the Catholic Church of not commenting on ‘disturbing incidents’ such as the death of Samuel Wanjiru, and the murder of a journalist, ‘matters which fall squarely in its jurisdiction’ and, on the other hand, he attacks this same Church for voicing its stance on the matter of the nomination of the Chief Justice and the Deputy Chief Justice.

I believe that the Church has every right to comment on these matters more so because they concern the moral standing and integrity of the two persons. Need I remind that particular writer that judging a person based on his academic qualifications and past activities alone while ignoring him or her as a person is what is parochial, and not the Bishops’ comments? Since time immemorial the Church has been the moral voice of the society and I believe this role has not changed.

It is important to remember that the Church is made up of persons who, even though they are sinners like the rest of us, have a right to be heard and represented through their shepherds. Therefore to declare that the Church should not voice its concern on how the country should be run is a misinformed and thoroughly misleading opinion.

Sylvester Oluoch,
Nairobi.

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