Nigerian prelate defends Catholic teaching against Western influence
February 12, 2014
The president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria has told a group of Catholic doctors and nurses that Catholic teaching on human life and sexual ethics cannot be compromised in the face of pressure from Western governments.
“The Catholic Church has been criticized over her stance on such issues as abortion, condom, homosexuality, cloning, stem cell research, etc.,” said Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos, as quoted by the Catholic News Service of Nigeria. “The Catholic Church is often judged by people who do not care to know what we really believe. Prejudices inherited from one generation to another have blinded critics of the Catholic Church so much that they cannot be objective about Catholic beliefs and traditions.”
“We must not be swallowed up by the tyrannical imposition of some governments or international non-governmental organizations who wish to dictate the moral trend of the world based on their secular values,” he continued. “In Africa, whether it is about population control, use of condoms, homosexuality, etc sometimes, the views of the West are forced down the throats of Africans through financial inducement. Africans must not be copy cats, believing that whatever comes from the West is ideal.”
“We must be faithful to our religious heritage even at a time when some of the people who introduced Christianity to us have become its ardent critics and some of them nurture a pathological hatred for Church directives or moral judgments,” he added. Faithful Catholic doctors, he said, “do not trade their faith for anything no matter the economic inducements or physical threats.”
Archbishop Kaigama made similar comments in a recent interview with a Nigerian newspaper.
The nation of 175 million is 50% Muslim, 25% Protestant, and 15% Catholic, with 10% retaining indigenous beliefs.
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