News

African Archbishop Alleges Aids Workers ’Introduce Boys to Homosexuality’

by Kilian Melloy
Friday Oct 23, 2009

An African Archbishop has accused Western aid workers of sabotaging African values and leading young African men into homosexuality.

Anti-gay religious Web site LifeSiteNews has posted several articles about the claims made by various African Archbishops, who have accused the West of importing "moral relativism," encouraging promiscuity by promoting condom use to stem the African rate of HIV infection, and giving young men supplies of lubricants so that they might have gay sex.

An Oct. 21 article referenced an interview between a National Catholic Reporter reporter and Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckle of Ghana, in which Palmer-Buckle, when asked whether "there really [is] a Western campaign to corrupt African values?" declared, "We don't only suspect that there is a campaign, we think it's deliberate." The Ghanian Archbishop went on to say that the so-called corrupting influence was emanating "from a particular lobby that sees African values on the family to be a danger to what's called the 'new global ethic,' which is being propounded by the UN, by the World Bank, by the IMF, and even by the European Union." The Archbishop cited marriage equality as one such "ethic" that powers from the West sought to impose.

Moreover, aid groups and other NGOs were "out there corrupting the young," the Archbishop asserted. "I know of NGOs that are not only supplying condoms, they're also supplying lubricants for boys who want to engage in homosexual relations.... I know workers for NGOs who hang around with boys in order to introduce them to homosexual relationships. In those cases, I don't want to believe it's the NGO's agenda, but the workers are letting their own tendencies go in as a normal thing to be accepted." Added the Archbishop, "We need to target those NGOs and those particular individuals, and tell whoever brought them in there that they're persona non grata."

The article said that the African Synod, meeting until Oct. 25 at the Vatican, had raised claims that Africa was under siege from a form of "cultural imperialism," but also noted that at least one among the Synod, Cardinal Peter Turkson, recognized that there were threats to African society that arose from indigenous aspects of African life: "poverty, conflicts, traditional beliefs and practices (witchcraft), and disease, principally, malaria and HIV-AIDS." Even so, Cardinal Turkson claimed, there was a "ferocious onslaught on the family and the related fundamental institution of marriage from outside Africa" for which groups like Planned Parenthood were responsible.

The specter of "gender theory" was also denounced by African bishops. An Oct. 8 item at the anti-gay site called gender theory a "materialist philosophy that sees human sexuality as not intrinsic to the human person but as a 'social construct' based on 'choice,'" and quoted Archbishop Robert Sarah as saying that it constituted a "lethal ideology" that was "contrary to African culture."

Like Archbishop Palmer-Buckle, Archbishop Sarah saw the corrupting influence as emanating from the West and targeting Africa, and warned, "Africa must protect itself from the contamination of intellectual cynicism in the West." Added Archbishop Sarah, "It is our pastoral responsibility to enlighten African consciences about the threats of this lethal ideology."

The archbishop claimed the gender theory was a means for groups to "put... pressure on the legislator to write laws favorable to universal access to ... contraceptive and abortion services ... as well as homosexuality" under the rubric of "reproductive health."

The archbishop claimed that in this context the "right to choose" became a "supreme value of this new ethic" that presented "homosexuality [as] a culturally acceptable choice," the article said, adding that others at the Synod had declared that among other hidden agendas" on the part of Western NGOs was the imposition of birth control and abortion.

The archbishop's comments followed an intervention yesterday morning at the Synod when one bishop warned against the incursions of Western NGOs into Africa, saying that they have "hidden agendas" pushing contraceptives and abortion as part of population control policies. Declared Archbishop Sarah, "There is no peace, no justice, no stability in society without family, without cooperation between man and woman, without a father and without a mother.... For the sake of non-discrimination, this ideology creates serious injustices and compromises peace."

Another participant at the Synod, Cardinal Wilfred Napier, went so far as to claim that one Western notion classifies pregnancy as "a sexually transmitted disease," an Oct. 14 posting at the site reported. "Now that tells you how far people are pushing this ideology of 'reproductive health'."

Controversy had erupted earlier this year over the Catholic church's leader, Pope Benedict XVI, objecting to the distribution of condoms in Africa as a means to combat the spread of HIV. Cardinal Napier, the article reported, said that the church offered people suffering from the disease better care than government-run facilities. "For that reason, I think that it is difficult for us to understand why some of the media persist in trying to portray the Catholic Church as part of the problem, rather than as part of the solution," Cardinal Napier said.

The pope had claimed that making condoms available would promote sexual promiscuity and cause a greater incidence of disease. Cardinal Napier attributed the spread of sexually transmitted diseases to personal conduct, saying, "Generally it is because of irresponsible sexual behavior.... If that is the root cause, irresponsible sexual behavior, then reason would tell you that the best way is to address the root cause. And that is to get people to change their behavior." The key to that, Napier said, was complete fidelity between husband and wife, with anyone not married refraining completely from sex. Said the Cardinal, "Those I think are just basic reasonable principles."

Cardinal Napier went on to label other forms of sexual expression as hedonistic, saying, "The great misuse of sexuality is that [it] is seen as only as something for pleasure." Napier relegated that idea to the category of "cultural imperialism" as yet another vice being inflicted upon Africa by an "imperialist culture [that] says that no, it's for enjoyment and pregnancy is almost a disease."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


Comments

  • , 2009-10-23 14:41:48

    An African archbishop giving into this conspiracy theory for political gain? Why is this news??


  • Louralf, 2009-10-23 16:48:16

    The catholic church and all its "bishops" cardinals and priests must be seen for the evil empire that they are. The catholic church is responsible for more death and terror in the last 2000 years than any and all other groups who have perpetrated evil on mankind over the milenia


  • wimsy, 2009-10-23 18:10:41

    Archbishop Looney Tunes is a hilarious romp through the absurd. I’d like to hear his views on UFOs and how they undermine belief in the sacraments, or some such thing.


  • Beachcomber, 2009-10-24 08:24:02

    Talk about western intrusion... what could look more conspicuously irrelevant than an African leader dressed in Medieval European attire dictating the dire consequences of western influence. Form follows function. He forgets the Catholic Church is a western intrusion into Africa.


  • olen , 2009-10-25 02:58:33

    I’d love to remind all the archbishops in Africa that Christianity and the modern concepts of sexuality, homosexuality, and homophobia were all imposed on colonial Africa by the Europeans and that there’s no such thing as an "African culture." Very good article, cultural anthropologically-speaking. Culture clash, conflicting agendas, moral subjectivity, religious absolutism, public/global health vs. alleged African cultural purity. Juicy!


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