I can’t believe the latest nonsense from the Catholic Church in Kenya. Bishop Kariuki is asking Christians to have more children. I don’t really get the rationale because it seems to be linked to a shortage of priests. I think the idea is that if Catholics have more off-spring, there will be more support for the church. But, of course, it totally ignores the reality of life in Kenya.
Huge numbers of Kenyans are too poor to look after the children they have. Many are trapped in a cycle of poverty, where they can’t earn money because they’re giving birth or looking after children and they can’t afford to buy the food they need for extended families. On top of that they don’t have the resources to pay for children’s education – and it’s the uneducated population who tend to have the largest families. And so it goes on… More and more people, more poverty, more suffering and less resources…
Giving women the chance to choose is what CHASE Africa is all about. They say that lack of access to family planning means women have no choice over the spacing and number of children they have. On the other hand, having smaller families and longer breaks between births means that everyone can be better nourished, have more access to education and will reduce the number of dangerous and unskilled abortions.
The Bishops say that they’re particularly against giving contraceptives to teenagers too, explaining that this will just encourage the young to have sex, which is against the law. Talk about burying their heads in the sand.
Apparently Pope Francis is so worried about the shortage of priests worldwide, that he’s considering allowing married men to take up the role. My view is that the less Bishops there are the better and that the Catholic Church should be ashamed at their lack of humanity in condemning poor people – particularly women – to a life of poverty. It’s totally immoral.
I’m a Trustee of CHASE Africa – they’re being tremendously effective at creating partnerships on the ground, who provide access to family planning, particularly in remote and impoverished rural communities.