Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bishops of Kenya, "We Failed to Love One Another"

Kenya has been the focus of intense pressure to find a peaceful resolution to its election crisis. The violence after the election has been horrific. A country previously known as one of the best hopes for the future of the continent proved how fragile national pride is when tribal pride gets in the way.

The post-election violence left 350,000 people refugees in their own country. Thousands were injured and over 1000 Kenyans died in the conflict. And both side of the election blamed one another.

The faith communities of Kenyan and East African came together praying and negotiating for peace. What did the Catholic Church do? At a concelebrated mass at the Holy Family Basilica the bishops placed responsibility for the suffering on Christian Kenyan. They stated that had Catholic Kenyans which number 8 million loved one another and loved their fellow Kenyans the suffering could not have occurred. Cardinal John Njue apologized for the tragic consequences of the lack of Christian love. Bishop Philip Sulumeti stated,” We did not listen to the voice of the shepherd, who is Jesus Christ. We failed to love one another. We sinned by failing to love one another."

To be sure, the Catholics were not the only Christians making an honest assessment of their behavior. Protestant clergy throughout Kenyan also stated that had their congregations followed the teaching of Jesus the fighting could not have occurred.

Kenya had a promising future. It was a symbol of what African nations could achieve. The nation is now in a process of reconciliation and has a national government of unity. Perhaps in not blaming others, in taking responsibility, of returning to core values, perhaps Kenya has again reclaimed it future.

Pope Prays for Peace in Kenya

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