Kenya: Bishops reject Nairobi population summit document

  • Dan Bergin

Archbishop  van Megen

Archbishop van Megen

Kenya's Catholic bishops have joined with international pro-life groups in rejecting the final document from an international summit on health rights for women and girls on the grounds that it supported practices contrary to African cultures and religious beliefs. Their objections, on the final day of the summit on 14 November, focused on the inclusion of abortion as vital to sexual and reproductive rights of women and the opening for the introduction of same-sex unions and homosexuality into communities.

The Nairobi Summit marked the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994. The summit included about 6,000 participants from 160 countries. It was organized by the governments of Kenya and Denmark and the United Nations Populations Fund. The three-day meeting focused on issues ranging from maternal deaths and child marriage to sex education and female genital mutilation.

Kenyan bishops earlier warned that that summit was a ploy to introduce abortion and homosexuality in Africa and the developing world. "We are not happy with the summit. We have seen that there are a lot of lies and wrong ideologies in the conference. They are trying to re-create humanity taking the position of God," retired Bishop Alfred Rotich, vice chairman of the Family Life Commission of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, said.

After failing to get accreditation for the summit, groups opposed to it convened at Cathedral Basilica of the Holy Family in Nairobi for a parallel conference. "We have to stand for the family in accordance with the church doctrine. … The moment the family falls apart, the society will also fall," Archbishop Hubertus van Megen, apostolic nuncio to Kenya, told one of the parallel meetings.

Tags: Kenya, Pro-Life, Nairobi, Abortion, Bishop Alfred Rotich, Archbishop Hubertus van Megen

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