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Catholic Church accepts vote results but say truth is not about numbers

By | August 20th 2010 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

By Peter Orengo

The Catholic Church has formally accepted the results of the referendum on the new laws.

However, the Church vowed to press on with push for the amendments of contentious issues in the new law.

"We played our role of directing our flock along the road of proper choice. We have not shied away from stating unequivocally what are the tenets of our faith in regard to some issues in our new Constitution," John Cardinal Njue said when he addressed the media at Holy Family Basilica, Nairobi, yesterday.

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Catholic bishops at Holy Family Basilica, Nairobi, yesterday, during a memorial mass marking the tenth anniversary of the death of Father John Kaiser. Inset: John Cardinal Njue speaking at the event. [PHOTO: MARTIN MUKANGU/STANDARD]

Catholic bishops led by Njue are said to have congregated at a retreat in Karen, Nairobi, to discuss the outcome of the referendum and offer the way forward for their flock.

New laws

And after the consultations, the 26 bishops agreed to accept the verdict of Kenyans to endorse the new Constitution, but insisted faults in the document must be addressed.

But the Church dismissed results from pollsters, which showed Kenyans had more trust in politicians than the Church.

Njue said although Kenyans had voted overwhelmingly for the new Constitution, truths and rights cannot be construed to mean numbers.

"Credibility is not about numbers but about the truth. Historically truth has never been popular but the Church has always and will have its role to play in society," said Njue.

He added: "As the shepherds placed to give moral guidance, we still reiterate the need to address the flawed moral issues in this new Constitution. That voice will never be silenced."

This was the first time the Catholic Church openly accepted the results of the referendum.

The Church had earlier declined to accept the new Constitution until contentious issues are resolved. Njue said the new Constitution was a foreign document for Kenyans.

"Kenyans will discover too late that they have been used like tissue paper," said Njue soon after referendum results were announced.

He added that the Church would not relent on the struggle against the new Constitution, saying foreign interests misled Kenyans into endorsing the document.

Yesterday, Njue struck a reconciliatory tone when he thanked Kenyans who headed the Church’s call to vote ‘No’ at the referendum, but also recognised those who voted for the document despite having doubts on some clauses.

"We also acknowledge many who voted ‘Yes’ while having serious misgivings on the moral issues contained in the new Constitution. We understand the many pressures that were at play then," he said.

He called upon Kenyans to revisit these issues even as the country prepares to implement the new law.