Monday, October 26, 2009

Priest draws women’s wrath over gays

Jeff Halpern (left) and Hank Donat became the first couple to be married inside San Francisco City Hall, California, on the first full day of legal same-sex marriage in June last year. Photo/REUTERS

Jeff Halpern (left) and Hank Donat became the first couple to be married inside San Francisco City Hall, California, on the first full day of legal same-sex marriage in June last year. Photo/REUTERS  

By DANIEL NYASSY

A priest sparked a rare debate during Sunday Mass at St Anthony Catholic Cathedral in Malindi when he raised the sensitive issue of marriage between two Kenyan gay men in London recently.

 Fr Ambrose Muli invited the wrath of the women in the congregation when he suggested that the marriage between Mr Daniel Chege Gichia, 39 and Mr Charles Ngengi, 40, on October 17, was a result of failure by women. 

“Today as we celebrate this Holy Mass, I am a very, very disappointed man,” said Fr Muli when he begun his sermon drawn from the book of Mark. 

The packed cathedral was immediately sent into dead silence with the congregation wondering what the priest was up to, or what had disappointed him.

Fr Muli continued: “This so-called marriage between the two Kenyan men in London last week, why do you think it happened? What went wrong? What is the matter?”

This drew murmurs from the congregation culminating with loud “No, no, no” from the women when the priest said: “This was because the women are no longer marriageable”. 

Fr Muli said men were resorting to marrying one another probably because the women had failed to provide what they should in marriage. 

“Women, from the way I see it, have become too complicated and unattractive in marriage. You don’t provide what God intended you to give in marriage. You have frustrated the men so much leading them to trying among themselves whether they will get the joy that comes with marriage”. 

Women could not take it lying down. They shouted back at the priest saying the problem was not with them, but with the men. 

But the priest challenged them further that they had to be more Godly and “more womanly” to attract men for marriage. 

“There is something very very wrong with women these days. You have failed to handle men the way you should. Men don’t see anything useful in you. The job that God gave you, you have failed to do,” he said.

 However, the priest encouraged Christians to devote more time to prayer so that the vice does not spread and destroy the family fabric, which is the backbone of the church of Christ. 

“Parents have a duty to bring up children in a righteous manner and lead them to God. Most of the evil manifested in an adult starts in childhood and parents contribute immensely to it,” he said. 

Although the church cannot ex-communicate gay people “because they are also sons of God” it was the duty of parents and community to cultivate righteousness and high moral standards among children.

 He said gay people are not necessarily more sinful but the practice went against God’s intentions of procreation. Christians have a divine obligation to put things right, the priest said.

 Mr Gichia wedded Mr Ngengi in London on October 17 during the first recognized same sex relations under the 2005 British law.

The tourist haven of Malindi has had many cases of homosexuality involving foreign tourists and local people. Several white men have appeared in court to answer such charges. Fr Muli, therefore, urged parents to guard their children against these acts.