English Africa Service – Vatican City/ Catholic Mirror – Nairobi
Catholic Bishops in Kenya caught the faithful by surprise, early this month, when they all approached the altar without shoes. Apart from the bare feet, each Bishop in the procession carried a small cross in hand. The Bishops also wore a green and white ribbon on the lapel of their vestments.
Personal pledge against corruption
The Bishops reached the altar and knelt in silent prayer before reading aloud a personal commitment to work tirelessly in fighting the evil of corruption in Kenya. They then each signed the pledge and personally handed the signed documents to the Chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), Archbishop Philip Anyolo.
The Bishops were at the Mary Mother of God Shrine, Subukia situated along the Nyahururu-Nakuru road early this month. They said they wanted to demonstrate, through concrete gestures and symbols, their resolve in fighting the scourge of corruption in Kenyan society. In doing so, the Bishops want the Catholic faithful to join and lead the way against corruption.
The golden calf of corruption
Chairman of the KCCB – Commission for the Pastoral and lay Apostolate, Archbishop Anthony Muheria explained the significance of the Bishops arriving at the altar bare feet. He said Bishops walked without shoes in mourning for Kenyan society’s disregard of God’s laws and for the exploitation and abuse of the poor who are sold for a penny. Archbishop Muheria said many Kenyan deaths can be attributed to corruption.”
“Like Moses, we plead with the people and for the people who have turned to the golden calf of corruption,” the Nyeri Archbishop said. The six months-long campaign against corruption launched by the Bishops of Kenya is under the theme, “Breaking the Chains of Corruption.
No cash donations that cannot be traced
Speaking at the launch, Archbishop Anyolo told local media that going forward, the Church wants to discourage big cash donations.
“Contributions to fundraisers in our Churches will be done by mobile money transfer or preferably by Cheque. This will avoid the handling of large amounts of cash, and give a clear trail of the donors. We wish to move towards cashless donations,” he said.
The Bishop challenged Church leaders to embrace transparency in fundraising activities.