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Thursday, October 08, 2015

Day 4 of the synod

Today's press briefing included some comments from Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckley of Accra, Ghana ...

Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckley of Accra, Ghana, said that the world needs to be patient with Africa when it comes to dealing with issues like homosexuality. “Give countries time to deal with issues from our own cultural perspectives,” he said. He added that the dignity and rights of all God’s son and daughters need to be upheld.

Also speaking from the synod was Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of South Africa ...

Archbishop Palmer-Buckley wants the world to be patient on the subject of how LGBT people are treated in Africa, so how *are* they treated? In Palmer-Buckley's country of Ghana they're treated badly ... gay male sexual relationships are illegal (unclear about female relationships) and those who have them shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more than twenty-five years. British Prime Minister David Cameron, the US State Department, and the UN have all spoken out against the policies towards gays in Ghana. I'm not sure why we should be patient with that kind of situation. The 'respect for culture' argument seems based on a kind of moral relativism that the church usually criticizes, at least when it's referring to the west's so called "culture of death".

Cardinal Napier mentions 'ideological colonization' and population control - he says that countries in the west want to control the populations of Africa so that they don't "overrun the world". Is this true? Nope. What's true is that women in Africa want very much to have access to safe, effective, and affordable contraception - it's not being forced on them. Why do they want contraception? Because ... Most of the countries with the lowest rates of contraceptive use, [have the] highest maternal, infant, and child mortality rates .... over half of all African women would like to use birth control if it were available. The main problems that prevent access to and use of birth control are unavailability, poor health care services, spousal disapproval, religious concerns, and misinformation about the effects of birth control (Birth control in Africa). Here's a TED talk from Melinda Gates about access to contraception for women in the developing world ...


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