Constitution “be a guide for higher, more noble goals”:
Kenyan Prelate at Anniversary
At the Eucharistic celebration organized to mark a decade since the promulgation of Kenya’s Constitution, the Archbishop of Nyeri in the East African country has urged the citizenry to use the Supreme Law of the Land as a guide for establishing a set of “higher and more noble goals.”
“We wish to plead that these laws and embodiment of a common course, be a guide for higher and more noble goals,” Archbishop Anthony Muheria said Thursday, August 27 during the commemoration Mass at the Holy Family Minor Basilica in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.
The set of higher and noble goals include “the flourishing of goodness, the space for individual right action, harmonious and peaceful living, prosperity and human development, the respect for the most sacred, and the defense of the weak and vulnerable in society,” Archbishop Muheria outlined.
He noted that Kenya’s Constitution, which was promulgated on August 27, 2010, “should enable us to rise from the bondage of our individual interests, evil tendencies, and social ills like Tribalism, Corruption, Nepotism and discriminations.”
“We still must make it effective, imbued by Godly sense, to create a true fraternal and fair society,” the 57-year-old Kenyan Prelate said, adding, “It is not an instrument for manipulation, nor to hide our mischief or nor facilitate it.”
Kenya’s Deputy Chief Justice, representatives from the Law Society of Kenya, and those from the Kenya Christian Professionals Forum participated in the August 27 Eucharistic celebration.
The Local Ordinary of Kenya’s Nyeri Archdiocese further said that the tenth anniversary of the Constitution should be a moment to “celebrate God at the center of our Constitution and who ought to guide all our constitutional developments.”
He advised Kenyans to “take time to thank God for the opportunity the Constitution gives us as a Nation to achieve the common good, and space to strive for an even greater and immeasurable good, Holiness and communion with our God.”
“A Constitution that does not enable a growth in spiritual value of the citizen would be a ‘lame constitution’ and one that empties the human person of his spirituality and dignity is already a dead one!” Archbishop Muheria who is overseeing Kenya’s Inter-faith Council constituted to guide the resumption of public worship in the country said.
He noted that thanking God for the Constitution also entails “recognizing God, and having his sovereignty in mind, as we interpret our life as a Nation, with the key of enhancing the human being, his or her rights, his harmonious and enriching associations with others, and his full essence, both bodily and spiritually.”
The Archbishop’s message comes at a time when various leaders in the country are calling for constitutional amendments, including President Uhuru Kenyatta who, on the eve of the Constitution’s anniversary, said “the moment to improve on it is now.”
“We must treat a constitution as a living document that must constantly adjust to emerging realities,” President Kenyatta said during his Wednesday, August 26 address to the nation.
During the August 27 Eucharistic celebration, the Chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), Archbishop Philip Anyolo blessed copies of the Constitution of Kenya.
Archbishop Anyolo said that the Supreme Law of the Land is not perfect and recalled how the Church’s leadership called on Kenyans to amend the proposal before its implementation.
“10 years on, we seek to bless the Constitution and our laws; indeed we bless human and imperfect material things, so that by this dedication of our Constitution, laws and Country to God, we may secure the positive aspects of our legal framework,” Archbishop Anyolo who is the Local Ordinary of Kenya’s Kisumu Archdiocese implored.
He, on behalf of the members of KCCB, challenged “political, civic and religious leaders, our Christian professionals and all Kenyans to play their role towards implementing and applying the positive values in the Constitution.”
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa