Pope Francis’s emissary to Uganda Archbishop Michael Blume has expressed concern over the rate at which Catholic marriages are collapsing today.
The prelate warned that if the wave goes unchecked, it could threaten to tear apart the entire institution of marriage.
Archbishop Blume’s concern was ignited by a revelation by Fr Henry Kasule, the Kitovu Parish priest, that out of the 22,000 Catholic families in the diocese, only 0.5 per cent are in legitimate marriage and very few in stable ones.
Speaking at the end of his five-day visit to Masaka Diocese last Saturday at Kitovu Church, the Apostolic Nuncio said the institution of marriage and family are the core pillars of the Church and if they are threatened, it becomes a big concern to the clergy.
“I believe this situation disgraces the Church, and precisely, the time has come to start taking a more persistent and dedicated pursuits of putting our Christian families in order just as our Lord wants them,” he said, adding: “Africa’s problems can reliably be solved by strengthening families.”
The archbishop explained that this fundamental challenge cannot only be solved through prayer, but also requires human and cultural interventions, as he instructed the clergy to design a programme to counsel all couples who live together, but have not yet wedded in Church.
He, however, noted that after studying the problem in Africa, the Pontiff instructed the Organisation of Routine Family Senates across the continent, to discus and reflect on the future of the sacred institution of a Christian family, as a solution to the growing threat of fundamentalism.
“We cannot control fundamentalism or extremism unless we remind parents of their duties as the first catechists who are responsible for imparting and propagating morals among the children they raise. We must teach them to appreciate the gift of children so that they can guide them accordingly,” he said.
Fr Kasule said their survey in the diocese also revealed that the number of priests is gradually decreasing, with the ratio now standing at one priest per 13,000 Christians against the recommended ratio of one priest to 1,600 believers.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor