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Malawi’s bishops decry abortion, homosexual unions, gap between rich and poor

March 18, 2016

The bishops of Malawi have issued a lengthy pastoral statement on current social, political, and economic issues.

“First, as your Pastors, we cannot sit back and watch in the face of shrinking standards or lack of public service delivery, increasing gap between the rich and the poor, lack of fiscal discipline and misplaced priorities in the prevailing tough times,” the bishops stated in their March 13 letter.

“We are deeply concerned about new trends in our society that promote a culture of death instead of a culture of life through the abortion campaign,” they continued. “Because of that, the family and the institution of marriage between man and woman are under direct attack from those campaigning for homosexual rights and homosexual unions.”

Speaking about abortion, the bishops stated:

Through the agents of the culture of death, campaigning for abortion legislation, human life is under direct attack. In these circumstances, we wish to reaffirm that every person is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every society is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person. We, therefore, appeal to our elected representatives in Parliament to promote and defend life by voting no to such legislation.

Turning to same-sex unions, the bishops said that the homosexual “condition is disordered but not sinful in itself. However, when it comes to homosexual acts or unions, the Church does not mince words: these are objectively evil and totally unacceptable.”

The bishops also strongly criticized a government decision not to prosecute those who have committed homosexual acts:

From this perspective, we agree with those who have faulted the Government for putting a moratorium on laws governing homosexual acts. This means that those guilty of homosexual acts or unions cannot be prosecuted. The Government has bowed down to pressure from donor community, international bodies and local human rights campaigners. As Pastors, we find this path very unfortunate. It is an act of betrayal on the part of those in power to sell our country to foreign practices and tendencies contrary to the will of God because of money.

“While we do not condone homosexual acts or unions because they are sinful, however, we wish to condemn in strongest terms those inciting violence against homosexuals and those guilty of homosexual acts or unions,” the bishops of Malawi added.

The southeast African nation of 16.4 million is 50% Protestant, 33% Catholic, and 13% Muslim.

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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Mar. 20, 2016 11:51 PM ET USA

    I suppose as ignorance and hatred of the Catholic Church continue to expand across the world, even the best among us will have to repeatedly include the disclaimer that to respect homosexual persons is good, but to beat them up is bad. I would rather see the Church's detractors include this disclaimer with each and every one of their toxic articles. This is called "doing their homework." However, bigotry, prejudice, and willful disdain color the vision of some who are in other ways professional.