Nigerian Bishops – ‘No Shaking’ on Sodomy
Nigerian bishops: “The culture of same-sex marriage is alien to our understanding of the family”
That’s the latest word from Abp. Ignatius Kaigama, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria and leader of the Jos archdiocese.
He told a recent Catholic assembly in his archdiocese, “The culture of same-sex marriage is alien to our understanding of the family and should not be imposed on Nigerians.”
These words were met with heavy applause.
The archbishop then shifted to Nigeria’s Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, which took effect in 2014. He is an ardent supporter of it, and at the time he lauded Nigeria’s president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, for signing it into law amid heavy criticism from other world leaders.
The archbishop said at the time that there’s a “conspiracy of the developed world to make our country and continent the dumping ground for the promotion of immoral practices.”
The act was widely reported to have made homosexuality itself illegal, when in reality it only made homosexual “marriages,” civil unions and public relationships illegal, as well as gay activism.
At the assembly, Abp. Kaigama charged various international groups and media with deliberately misconstruing the Nigerian bishops’ comments on the law, saying they “mischievously reduced our position to advocating severe punishment for gays and lesbians with long prison terms!”
“This is a deliberate distraction, and a wicked deviation from what is our primary concern,” said Abp. Kaigama.
He noted that the main concern was simply “that marriage must be between a man and a woman in accordance with our cultural and religious norms.”
Ultimately, according to Abp. Kaigama, the essential position of the Nigerian bishops is: “No to same-sex marriage” — or, “As we say in Nigeria, ‘No shaking!'”
He also talks about how outside forces — specifically secularists and the media — are trying to take down the Church. Hence, he urges, the Church must fight against such opponents with conviction, especially at the upcoming Synod on the Family, so that the Faith won’t be “lost or contaminated.”
Archbishop Kaigama stood strongly in favor of traditional teachings on sexuality, marriage and the sacraments at last year’s Extraordinary Synod, where those teachings were openly questioned inside and outside the Church.
“Whether you like it or not, the Catholic Church is a very powerful institution,” he explains. “I believe there is a serious ganging up [on the Church] by others, secularists and the media and so on, who feel this giant has to be brought down in some way or the other.”
The archbishop won’t be attending this year’s synod; however, he’s not worried about his absence, given that other Nigerian prelates will be there.
He says, “You could wake up any bishop in Nigeria from his sleep and ask for his opinion on issues related to the family, and they’d all say more or less precisely the same thing, almost word-for-word.”
“On these matters,” Abp. Kaigama reassures the faithful, “we are absolutely of one mind.”
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Ryan Fitzgerald is a staff writer and producer for ChurchMilitant.com