December 25, 2006

Kenyans urged to pray for Somalia-Ethiopia peace

By Judy Kaberia

Kenyans have on Christmas Day been urged to advocate for peace in Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia as it affects the rest of the African continent. The Pope’s representative to Kenya Archbishop Alain Lebeaupin said the only way Africa can end the looming wars is through maintaining peace from an individual point. He said, “It’s not just international peace but we have to start from our own families. Kenya is a good country and should set an example in the time to come.”
He urged people to maintain their dignity and stop fighting over political or religious differences. Nairobi Catholic Archbishop Ndingi Mwana Nzeki also called on other countries to come together and support the weaker countries. He said Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia cannot bring stability on their own, but need examples to follow as well as strong support. “Let everybody take responsibility to be good to support the neighbors who need support in Africa and East Africa,” he said. In the meantime Lebeaupin denied reports that Pope Benedict XVI had sent a letter warning catholic priests against holding political positions. He said the Catholic Church is however concerned about the politics of the day and its implications on the church fraternity, especially on religious leaders.
“The pope did not send a letter. Sometimes it is good to ask before publishing. We never did something as the Vatican, but it was a real concern,” he said. He was responding to media reports earlier in the month that the Vatican had warned catholic clerics against holding political positions or even taking up public appointments. It is alleged that the directive came following the appointment of a catholic priest to a state corporation post.
Meanwhile Archbishop Ndingi called on politicians to end their differences as Kenya gets nearer to the electioneering period.
He appealed to them to humble themselves and work to promote development for the common good of the people who chose them. They were speaking after celebrating the Christmas Mass at the Holy family Basilica. The colorful Mass was attended by thousands of Christians.

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