Prelate tells family synod modern Africa won’t be dictated to

A Nigerian archbishop has told the synod on the family that no-one should try to impose foreign cultures and ways on African peoples.

Africans “have come of age”, said Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, who is president of the Nigerian bishops’ conference.

“We should be allowed to think for ourselves,” he said, noting that many African countries have been independent from former colonial powers for many decades.

“We are wooed by economic things,” said Archbishop Kaigama, who heads Nigeria’s Jos archdiocese.

“We are told if you limit your population, we’re going to give you so much. And we tell them, ‘Who tells you that our population is overgrown?’ ”

The archbishop said Nigeria recently” had a big conference on pro-life issues, and in that conference, we came out very clearly to ascertain the fact that life is sacred, marriage is sacred, and the family has dignity”.

“We get international organisations, countries, and groups which like to entice us to deviate from our cultural practices, traditions, and even our religious beliefs.

“And this is because of their belief that their views should be our views. Their opinions and their concept of life should be ours,” he said.

“Now you 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.”

Archbishop Kaigama said poverty is not necessarily about money.

“One can be poor in spirituality, poor in ideas, poor in education, and in many other ways. We may be poor materially, but we are not poor in every sense.

“So we say no to what we think is wrong.  And [the] time has gone when we would just follow without question.

“Now, we question. We evaluate. We decide. We ask questions. This is what we do in Africa now,” he concluded.

Archbishop Kaigama later told reporters that the prelates are not looking to change specific Church doctrines.

“What we are trying to examine is the pastoral approach that could be done differently,” he continued.

In an interview with LifeSiteNews before the synod, Archbishop Kaigama said that if the proper understanding of marriage and family is taken away, then society will collapse.

“Our African values are God-given, and, where they do not contradict the Gospel values, we uphold them – that is the essence of inculturation,” he said.


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