Kenyan bishops reject new draft Constitution

Mother & child - Lake Turkana. Photo: New Ways

Mother & child - Lake Turkana. Photo: New Ways

Bishops in Kenya have urged the people to vote against a proposed Constitution in a forthcoming referendum.  They said in a statement released today:  “We repeat our advice to the people of Kenya to reject this proposed Constitution of Kenya. 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 than before."

The Catholic Church, along with other Churches, has two objections to the new draft of the Constitution. The first concerns a clause that shifts the beginning of life from conception to birth. This is seen as paving the way for the legalization of abortion. The second objection concerns the recognition of the Muslim civil courts, the Kadhi Courts.

"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,” say the Bishops. “All people of good will who vote for the proposed constitution of Kenya because of some provisions that they like, are also responsible for voting for the morally problematic provisions in the proposed constitution of Kenya.”

“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,” the bishops affirm.
“The constitution is not a bag of potatoes for which one 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 bad," concluded the statement.

Source: Fides

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