Sunday, July 16, 2023

Calling out the Ugandan Catholic Church’s Hypocritical Silence…


And, it is not poor old gug. Someone else, some other people noted the deafening silence from the Uganda Catholic Church Fathers who are still ‘waiting for the entire bill’ to be presented to them.

Here are Archbishop Ssemogerere’s own parsed words…


“the Catholic Church in Uganda will come up with one position after analysing and discussing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023, which Parliament passed on March 21.
“Regarding what has come out of Parliament once we have the entire Bill, as Fathers of the Catholic Church we will come together to discuss that Bill and give the position of the Catholic Church in Uganda.””


Let me check that time line. February to March 21st 2023 was the whole brouhaha in the country. The Catholic Bishops were silent…
The Bill was sent to the President. The President sent it back with comments two months later. The bill was revised and sent back to the President. The President signed it.

Ahem, the bill became an Act, without the powerful Catholic Church’s input? 5 good months of this year, 2023 of our lord in silence?
Hypocrisy…, dear Holy Fathers. But that would be lying hypocrisy, isn’t it?

I noted it.

But, some more influential and much more knowledgeable people have also noted the glaring, deafening silence, over the last 5 months. The Catholic Church in Uganda has been Deaf. Dumb. and Blind.

How powerful is the Catholic Church in Uganda?
Oh, it actually is very, very powerful. And, it is Catholic faithful that have been at the helm of passing the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023. Speaker Anita Among, and MP Charles Ochen, a former Catholic priest was one of the movers on the bill at first reading…
But, how really powerful is the powerful Catholic Church in Uganda? Someone pointedly points that out.


“the Catholic Church’s influential role in Uganda, with nearly 40% of Ugandans identifying as Catholic. Catholic bishops, considered moral leaders by millions, hold a unique position of influence and could potentially shift the narrative around this inhumane legislation. . .”


And, another nexus of power, were the Catholic Bishops to come out against the Anti-Homosexuality Act, they would have the reigning Pontiff at their back. Pope Francis is solidly against the criminalisation of sexuality. He has said so, repeatedly. Last time as recently as February 2023 on a trip to DRC and South Sudan.
And, for reasons that I fail to understand, Pope Francis has sway with the populace in Uganda, the lay Catholics. At least that is my poor observation. But, I am not a believer, and I am not a Catholic, so I might be really mistaken.

And, Why the F*** would the Catholic Church come out against the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023?
Because it is against their teaching in quite a number of things. The Death Penalty. Criminalising behaviour that they see as just sin. Teaching to nurture and not to punish…., apparently it is spelt out in the Catechism or something like that.


“The Catechism of the Catholic Church denounces both the death penalty (n. 2306) and “unjust discrimination” against people with lesbian and gay people (n.2358).”


That is the kind of page and verse that I wouldn’t be able to quote.
Now, with an institution as centralised as the Catholic Church, having the Pope and the Church’s teaching in my corner would mean that I am on solid ground..,

But, in reading around, I have come to understand the apparent constraints on the power of the Pope. He has some powerful enemies. Particularly in the US. Conservatives, they are apparently called. So, the pressure on the Catholic Bishops in Uganda is not clear cut, nor is it going to bring a powerful sermon from Rubaga Cathedral, wonder of wonders, condemning the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023.
But, it is intriguing, that Catholic Dogma and the Pontiff are on this side of the question.

It is even interesting that an American Catholic Bishop (anti-Biden.., and Conservative apparently, Americans are really weird…) took a swipe at President Biden, but wouldn’t go as far as going against Catholic doctrine.


“the Church’s teaching against the death penalty is clear. The Church also clearly teaches that, while homosexual acts are gravely sinful, homosexual people must be ‘accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity’ and that ‘Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.'””


So, even Uganda’s Catholic Bishops conservative pals in America have a line beyond which Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 has strayed?!

Very interesting.
But, ultimately, the Catholic Bishops of Uganda unreservedly support the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023. They are not going to come out and challenge it. Not at all. The silence serves their purpose. They are as homophobic as most Ugandans and to hell with the Catechism’s specific teaching. (Hey, why shouldn’t I also indulge my honest anger a little bit? Just a tiny little bit, like calling out their hypocrisy!)That is the language they understand and I am unamused enough to tell truth unadorned.

Without parsing language at all, this quote below is the essence of what the Catholic Bishops of Uganda believe about homosexuality. This was not a slip of the tongue, a problem with language. This was a reflection of what most if not all Ugandans believe is the Uganda Catholic Church’s position on homosexuality.  This is the truth, unadorned.


“Bishop Sanctus Lino Wanok of Lira, Uganda, called homosexuality “not human” in an Ash Wednesday homily”


How would that square with the Catholic Church Catechism…, this unbeliever wonders.
Yeah, we do have great examples of ‘Un-Christ-like Christians’.



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