Home   |  About Us   |  Contacts   |  Products    
 News Items
 Top Stories
 News Briefs
 Also Featuring
 Movie Reviews
 Sunday Scripture
 CNS Blog
 Links to Clients
 Major Events
 2008 papal visit
 World Youth Day
 John Paul II
 For Clients
 Client Login
 CNS Insider
 We're also on ...
 RSS Feeds
 Top Stories
 Movie Reviews
 CNS Blog
 For More Info

 If you would like
 more information
 about Catholic
 News Service,
 please contact
 CNS at one of
 the following:
 (202) 541-3250


 This material
 may not
 be published,
 rewritten or
 except by
 linking to
 a page on
 this site.

 CNS Story:

KENYA-CONSTITUTION May-12-2010 (370 words) With photo. xxxi

Bishops say they will advise Catholics to oppose Kenyan constitution

By Francis Njuguna
Catholic News Service

NAIROBI, Kenya (CNS) -- Catholic bishops said they would use the government-mandated 30-day period for education on the proposed Kenyan constitution to educate Catholics on the need to oppose the document.

Nairobi Cardinal John Njue, chairman of the Kenya Episcopal Conference, said the government had blocked church leaders' efforts to discuss clauses that could lead to the legalization of abortion and the entrenchment of Islamic courts.

The cardinal read a statement, "Choose Life and You Will Live," and said: "We do not believe that a document that is fundamentally flawed should be passed only with a very vague hope that it will be amended later, especially when the process of amendment is more difficult after (approval) than before.

"To vote for the constitution is to vote for all of it, including its good and its bad provisions. It is impossible to separate them," the cardinal said.

"We cannot in good conscience advise Kenyans to vote for the proposed constitution of Kenya with the hope of future amendments. We also cannot in good conscience leave the matter to Kenyans without giving our considered advice in moral matters so that they can form their consciences in accord with the will of God expressed to us through the moral laws that form part of our cherished Christian tradition," he said.

The bishops' statement was issued May 11 at the end of their two-day plenary meeting and the same day the government launched a period of civic education about the document. Kenyans will participate in a referendum on the document before the end of August.

"The constitution is not a bag of potatoes (from) which you can remove five bad potatoes and retain the 95 that seem to be good. It is like an egg that is delicate and has to be well-preserved. And if it begins to go bad, it goes bad wholly, and you cannot separate the good from the bad," the bishops said.

They called for prayers for the defense of life and a constitution that safeguards this reality.

"We urge all to pray the rosary and other prayers in our eucharistic celebrations and our small Christian communities so that God may listen to our cry and plea," the bishops said.


Copyright (c) 2010 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250