Catholic Church renews fight against birth control

Kisumu Diocese Archbishop Zachaeus Okoth during a mass at Masogo Catholic Parish yesterday. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]
The Catholic Church has renewed calls to Kenyans to stop the use of contraceptives as a form of family planning.

Yesterday, Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth described the use of contraceptives as against the will of God and urged Christians to shun it.

The clergyman has been one of the most vocal anti-family planning proponents and has been preaching against the ideology during his sermons.

According to him, the contraceptives women are taking is not good for their health.

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“God is the one who gives us children. He is the one who controls family planning and should be left to do that,” said Okoth.

He spoke after opening St Boniface Masogo Parish in Muhoroni in an event that was attended by many faithfuls, including area MP Onyango K'Oyoo who helped to complete the church building.

“Do not be the one who controls the size of your family. God is the one who does that, if he decides to gift you with two, three or more children, just accept,” he said.

Citing various examples from the Bible, Okoth challenged the congregation to sire as many children as they could and drop family planning.

His comments are set to ignite a new debate on the role of the church in composition of families at a time when many Kenyans have been hit hard by tough economic times.

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Some quarters have also blamed the high poverty levels on the huge sizes of families.

A number of rights groups as well as other regional bodies have also been strongly advocating for the use of family planning to help reduce the sizes of families.

Currently, Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) through Population, Health and Environment department, has been running a regional campaign on how to address some of the issues affecting the livelihoods of the people living around the basin.

On top of their strategy is family planning where they have been advocating for family sizes that are manageable with the body reporting that the exercise has been a success as residents in the East Africa States begin to adopt family planning.

Several women

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The Government too has been running family planning services in a number of health facilities with several women also reportedly on family planning.

But according to Okoth, the use of family planning is unacceptable.

“Contraceptives have several negative effects. Please stop using them," he said, adding that if Mary the mother of Jesus had taken contraceptives, Jesus could have not been born.

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