A Call to Healing and Reconciliation
“For if while we were enemies were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life” Romans 5:10
We the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) meeting at the Queen of Apostles Clergy House, wish to send Lenten greetings to you all people of God and all people of goodwill. The Season of Lent is a period in which we are called to examine our conscience and make judgment of our own actions. This leads to personal self-examination, conversion and renewal.
We wish to acknowledge the gesture of our two leaders, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga, in meeting and extending hands of reconciliation among themselves, and as a sign of their commitment in collaborating towards uniting the deeply divided and polarized Country. This public gesture of reconciliation and their desire to move the Country forward following the year-long electioneering campaigns last year is obviously a relief to many Kenyans. We, therefore, laud this gesture and hope that it is an opening to a greater commitment towards seeking real solutions to a more just, democratic and prosperous Country where every Citizen has an opportunity to develop. This gesture also enhances our conviction that dialogue is possible.
We wish to remind Kenyans that as Bishops we have in the past called on all leaders and stakeholders to employ constructive dialogue as the only way of resolving conflict. Kenya has gone through very trying moments. With this latest development we believe it is only the beginning of charting out the path that gives room to everybody to engage in uniting and reconciling Kenyans. This beginning should now accommodate all stakeholders and Kenyans and be open to addressing all the issues that are of concern to this Country. We see the new found collaboration of the two leaders as creating the environment for this dialogue.
Towards this end, as Catholic Bishops we are committed to pursuing the path of national dialogue through an inclusive participatory process from the grassroots to the national level. To achieve this, during the Lenten Campaign launch on February 10th 2018 in Kisumu, we initiated the process by commissioning our Christians beginning with the Small Christian Communities to reflect on issues affecting our country.
We therefore urge all leaders across the political divide to support this path so that it does not remain a public relation exercise or a show of two individuals. As this goes on, it is very important to recognize the role of the opposition in any democratic society, to check on the government for better service delivery. We still emphasize that at all times and in all situations there must always remain the respect for the rule of law and institutions.
Regarding the state of insecurity in parts of the country it is of great concern to us. Recently, there were incidents of insecurity in Mount Elgon and in parts of Northern and Coastal regions. The government has a primary mandate to protect its people and must therefore ensure people live without fear as they go about their daily endeavors.
In conclusion, we thank all Kenyans for their continued prayers and maintaining peace even at critical moments of the recent past. We pray that God blesses Kenya and God blesses our people. In anticipation we wish each one of you a happy Easter and the joy of the resurrected Christ.
Rt. Rev. Philip Anyolo
KENYA CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS
Wednesday, 14th March 2018