By Julius Mugaga/ KMA Updates.
KAMPALA, UGANDA: “Human life must be respected, it’s a gift from God”. Bishop Antony Zziwa tells Countrymen and Women during a Press Conference delivering Christmas message to the country.
While delivering a Christmas message on behalf of the Uganda Episcopal conference, the Chairperson and the Kiyinda Mityana Diocese Bishop, Joseph Antony Zziwa expressed that the Catholic Church has several times witnessed disregard for Human Life in the country related to loss of life due to criminality that is to say robberies, terrorism, mob injustice, and rivalries, inadequate health care, and other ills.
He therefore calls for all natives of Uganda to recognized human life as a precious element as it is a gift right from God.
Bishop Zziwa went on to condemn the rising domestic violence witnessed during since the first lockdown in 2020 and therefore called upon parents and children to love, care, respect, forgive and listen to one another as it will bring harmony and peace in the family, it’s what God desires of us (Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4).
He says even though Conflicts are inevitable in any community people must learn to live with and resolve them in a mature and responsible manner for the better of their families.
As St. Paul said, we must be guided by compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another. As members of the Catholic Church, in Uganda, we have resolved to step up our efforts to minister to families through our various outreach pastoral programs on family life, counseling, and daily homilies.
He also condemned the people responsible for abuse of children that has resulted into alarming teenage pregnancy especially in this times of the coronavirus pandemic and calls upon parents and guardians of these children not to abandon them but rather to support and guide them in this.
He says since thousands of children have gotten pregnant or are married, meaning that some of them will miss the opportunity to continue with formal education therefore must be cared for.
Bishop Zziwa mentioned of the rehabilitation of the healthcare system citing need for more skilled and well-motivated human resource, and better equipment and infrastructure.
He says though government efforts have tried to improve the health situation, more needs to be done and the Catholic Church will complement these efforts by providing health services through its different health facilities.
He went on to call on Ugandan government together with other countries in the region to harness the refugees issues by settling conflicts within member states that has risen the influx of refugees in Uganda.
He says if this is done, it will reduce the number of refugees Uganda receives every year though we have an open door policy for refugees
Zziwa also cited the need for Ugandans to adopt activities geared to protect the environment citing the many dangers caused by climate change. He says Pope Francis in his Encyclical Laudato Si (Praise be to you) calls upon all of us to take good care of mother earth.
He informs that the Catholic Church has undertaken several measures to mitigate the effects of climate change; such as, tree planting, and promoting solar energy and energy saving stoves.
He concluded by inviting Ugandans to live the Christmas spirit and allow Christ to dwell in their hearts, families and society as a whole.
He called Ugandans participate in the preparations of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops which will take place in October 2023 in Rome, Italy, a process that was launched on 17th October 2021 in each country, including Uganda under the theme “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission”.
And congratulated, welcomed Ordinaries in the course of the year; His Grace Paul Ssemogerere (Archbishop of Kampala) and His Lordship Raphael p’Mwony Wokorach (Bishop of Nebbi Catholic Diocese), wished everyone a Blessed Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year 2022.