Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya Challenges Catholic Bishops to Go ‘Where the People Are’


“Pallium wool can remind us of the Holy Father’s call to all bishops and priests to take in the scent of sheep; become one with the flock of Christ. And of course, for that to happen, the bishop must resign from his privileged position; he must get rid of privilege and perceived importance.

The representative of the Holy Father in Kenya and South Sudan continued: “A bishop should therefore not claim any VIP treatment; a bishop needs to be with his sheep, to be accessible. A bishop should not burden it on them.

He said the Pallium which is woven with many woolen threads should remind the Archbishop of his duty to foster communion and “gather the body of Christ.”

In his prayer for the Archbishop of Kisumu, the Holy Father’s representative in Kenya said: “Dear Archbishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba, may the pallium be a symbol of unity and a sign of your communion with the Apostolic See, a bond of love and an incentive of courage. In the day of the coming and manifestation of our great God and Chief Shepherd Jesus Christ, may you and all the flock entrusted to you be clothed with immortality and glory.

In his speech at the ceremony, Bishop Muhatia called for peace in the country as it nears general elections scheduled for August 9.

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“We ask for restraint in the few remaining days of the campaigns; restraint by leaders in campaigns regarding what they say, how they say it, even with body language,” Bishop Muhatia said.

He added, “We are asking for restraint among Kenyans. Kenya is a very beautiful country.

“Over the past 10 years of peace, we have witnessed the progress made, made and seen in our respective places, including in our own town of Kisumu. We want to see more of this peace so that development can reach villages in every county. We can only achieve this by maintaining peace,” said the Archbishop who began his episcopal ministry in Kenya’s Nakuru Diocese in February 2010.

He encouraged the Kenyan electorate to turn out in large numbers to vote for their favorite candidates, noting that failure to participate in the elections would rob their candidates of a chance to lead.

“We ask you to keep the peace. But we also ask that you come out to vote on the 9th. Please don’t sit on your vote because to sit on your vote is to sit on your leader who will never be,” said the 54-year-old Kenyan archbishop.

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Moi University Kenya. Agnès is currently a journalist for ACI Africa.


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