Africa Service – Vatican City
“We would like to offer our prayers and condolences to the families, friends and congregations of the two priests who were brutally shot dead this month. A Jesuit priest, Fr Victor Luke Odhiambo was killed in South Sudan, and a Mill Hill young priest Fr Cosmas Omboto Ondari who were killed in Cameroon. We offer our prayers and condolences to the families, friends and congregations that have been greatly hurt by the killings. We pray that God gives the Church, especially in the frontiers, the strength and courage to remain steadfast in faith in the face of hardships, temptations and real risks to life as our friends Fr Victor and Cosmas did. May their souls rest in peace,” the Bishops say in their Pastoral Statement titled, “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers that you do unto me” (Mathew 25:40) released Wednesday, this week.
Challenges facing Kenyan society
The Kenyan Bishops have been meeting in an Ordinary Plenary Assembly at Bishop Mensa Pastoral Centre, in Isiolo County, located 285 Kilometres north of Nairobi.
The Bishops also address themselves to Kenyan society’s various challenges that include the importance of political integrity, ethics and the importance of waging war against corruption.
The Pastoral Statement also speaks about the Bishops’ resolve to deal with issues of protecting children particularly under the care of the Church.
“Dear Kenyans, we would like to address this reality. There are three related problems here: Child abuse, children getting pregnant and abortions, “reads the Statement.
The Bishops say that the violence and evil committed against minors and vulnerable members of a society is a sign of a morally sick society. “As your shepherds, we shall do everything possible to implement policies on child protection and safeguarding of these vulnerable members and require all who work with minors to commit themselves to these policies.”
Other areas, in the Statement, to do with safeguarding children include teenage and schoolgirl pregnancies in Kenya as well as the rise in cases of abortions.