Vatican synod urges corrupt African leaders to quit

October 23, 2009


(Photo: Pope Benedict XVI with African bishops in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, 4  Oct 2009/Alessandro Bianchi)

Roman Catholic bishops called on corrupt Catholic leaders in Africa on Friday to repent or resign for giving the continent and the Church a bad name. Around 200 African bishops, along with dozens of other bishops and Africa experts, also accused multinational companies in Africa of “crimes against humanity” and urged Africans to beware of “surreptitious” attempts by international organizations to destroy traditional African values.

Their three-week synod, which ends formally on Sunday with a Mass by Pope Benedict, covered a range of Africa’s problems, such as AIDS, corruption, poverty, development aspirations and crime. But it had a very direct message for corrupt African leaders who were raised Catholics.

“Many Catholics in high office have fallen woefully short in their performance in office. The synod calls on such people to repent, or quit the public arena and stop causing havoc to the people and giving the Catholic Church a bad name.”

The message did not name any leaders. The international community has for years called on Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, who was raised a Catholic and educated by Jesuits, to step down, saying he had brought his once-prosperous country to its knees.

Another African leader who was raised a Catholic and has been accused of corruption is Angola’s President Eduardo dos Santos. Both men deny any wrongdoing.

In a section on AIDS, the bishops’ message repeated the Church position that the spread of the disease could not be stopped by the use of condoms alone. Last March, on his way to his first trip to Africa, the pope caused an international storm by saying that the use of condoms could actually worsen the spread of AIDS.

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Posted by berhane | Report as abusive

This corrupt entity called the vatican is trying to deceive Africans, a classic case of pot calling kettle black. All these years of enriching their lives and peadophillia, these hypocrites make me sick. What has the catholic church ever done for Africa with all their riches, they should be kicked back to Rome and we all should revert to our forefather’s religion and be rid of this imposed religion.

Posted by Nduka Tolefe | Report as abusive

Well said! But if the church is serious about being a force for change then church leaders themselves must stop propping up dictators like Mugabe. Many senior Catholic leaders in Zimbabwe have at best turned a blind eye to Mugabe’s excesses and officiated at Mugabe’s wedding and other State occasions. Father Mukonoweshuro, a Jesuit Priest, has been particularly close to Mugabe over the years. The Catholic Church leadership has never done anything about it. Charity begins at home; the Pope of all people should know that!

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive

The Pope will need more than just words for Afican corrupt Leaders to quit

Posted by John | Report as abusive

How sad it is to read these uninformed comments. It would have been far better to acknowledge the truth, that is that corrupted leadership brings countries to their knees – and hurts those who are being served, i.e. the people. To raise other untruths merely serves to further the lie, the corruption, the famine. Let us rather examine our consciences and fix what is wrong.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

There is more corruption in the Vatican than in Zimbabwe

Posted by zimbabwean thru and thru | Report as abusive

he make him self as a bishop, but the real bishop is a man who knows God, but this Guy he behave wrong totally bible said let us love each other so that love will cover sins that we committed and he is still taking things in the way that his father has thought him to do because Germans people doesn’t believe in God mercy that is why they killed 6 million Israel in their country if you your insist for repentant of the Africans before you you laying to your self because we Africans we don’t bow our down to person like you we do bow what we have in life God the crater and we understand bible more better than you do you German people, you have been looking for some, but let me tel you Guy we do honor God more than human being.

Posted by lukason manson | Report as abusive

Zimbabwean thru and thruWhat if “There is more corruption in the Vaticanthan in Zimbabwe”? Is it then ok that Zimbabwe is corrupt? If you are indeed a Zimbabwean, then you must one of those shallow minded individuals not to see the tragic suffering corruption has cause to our people.

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive

Shame to the bishops and the church. By refusing to call names, the church has once more shown its ugly and hypocritical face to the people of Africa.Take Paul Biya of Cameroon my country for exampleHis father was a cathechist, he was raised up by missionaries and he was to become a priest. But he was alledgely dismissed from the seminary for stealing.He was given power 27 years ago this November 6.His dark record as an abuser of human rights is glaring. he has openly stolen elections, stolen huge sums of money and masterminded the killing of hundreds of individuals. He has encouraged a group of chronies to reap the country of all its resources; leading Roger milla’s country to the dubious title of ‘most corrupt country’ in the world on atleast two occassions. Yet that did not stop the late john Paul 11 to fly to Cameroon and baptising Paul Biya’s Children.What signal does the church send with such acts? By lending its prestige to a known and corrupt impostor like Paul Biya, the Catholic church can only be seen as an accomplice to the heinous crimes of such individuals. They should thus spare us the headaches of a pontifical communique from the Vatican

Posted by Martin Ayaba | Report as abusive

Bishop has fail to convenes African leaders to come for his side because we African we don’t like to follow their tradition, he should address German’s people not to marriage male by male and female by female this is the real Gospel of God so that he will be in God’s covenant, bishop should teach his staff of how to be faithful with one another and to God as well, not to bring things on hair like that or not to put God business to media, in other way he should pray for his Church in state of announcing things in the public.

Posted by luckime kunia | Report as abusive

What the vatican has said it a factand we should never deny a fact because it has been said by someone we do not like.Its true many african countries are led by religious leaders but we dont see them practicing their religiosity in their leadership :the servant leadership as demonstrated by christ, A case to emulate India premier.

Posted by Kamau | Report as abusive

interesting points made here. cameroon has a long ways to go

Posted by Cameroonworks | Report as abusive