U.S. Priest Accuses West African Nation of ‘Homophobia’

FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 file photo, Kenyan gays and lesbians and others supporting their cause wear masks to preserve their anonymity and one holds out a wrapped condom, as they stage a rare protest, against Uganda's increasingly tough stance against homosexuality in solidarity with their counterparts …
AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File

LGBT activist Father Daniel Horan has accused the nation of Ghana of “homophobia” for its anti-sodomy laws and failure to legalize same-sex marriage.

Father Horan identifies Ghana’s Christianity as key to understanding the issue, insisting that “the rampant homophobia and anti-LGBTQ attitudes, laws and violence” in the country is “an inherently Christian problem.”

“Church leaders and self-identified Christians from across the denominational spectrum are largely responsible for this anti-LGBTQ hatred and violence,” the Chicago-based priest declares in his column in the far-left National Catholic Reporter, “given the overwhelming Christian makeup of the Ghanaian population and the outsized influence of church leaders.”

As Breitbart News reported, last February, Ghana’s Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) appealed to the government not to succumb to efforts to impose the LGBT agenda in the African country.

In its statement, the GCBC stated that “the rights of homosexuals as persons do not include the right of a man to marry a man or of a woman to marry a woman. For the Church, this is morally wrong and goes against the purpose of marriage.”

The statement, signed by the president of the bishops’ conference, Archbishop Philip Nameeh, stressed that the “European Court for Human Rights has ruled that same-sex ‘marriages’ are not considered a human right.”

Archbishop Nameeh also asserted that the European Union “should not impose their so-called values and beliefs on Ghanaians who are against homosexuality,” adding that “the laws, values and cultural beliefs in Ghana do not allow for such practices.”

“We, the Catholic Bishops of Ghana write to condemn all those who support the practice of homosexuality in Ghana,” the archbishop stated. “We do this because the Roman Catholic Church is opposed to this abominable practice.”

The bishops urged “the Executive and the Legislature never to be cowed down or to succumb to the pressure to legalize the rights of LGBTQI in Ghana,” adding that the Bible considers homosexuality as a “perversion and a pagan abomination.”

“To choose someone of the same sex for one’s sexual activity or for marriage is to annul the rich symbolism and meaning, not to mention the goals, of God’s sexual design,” the text stated. “Homosexual activity is not a complementary union, able to transmit life, and so it thwarts the call to a life of that form of self-giving which the Gospel says is the essence of Christian living.”

The bishops noted that Catholic teaching affirms the equal dignity of all human persons but invites them to live virtuously.

“Even though the Church strongly condemns homosexual acts, it insists that the rights of homosexuals as persons should be respected,” the bishops said. “Homosexuals are also human beings, created in the image of God, and they should enjoy the same fundamental human rights that all people enjoy.”

Ghana’s resistance to Western pressure to legalize same-sex marriage goes back many years and is mirrored in a number of other African nations.

When President Barack Obama visited Kenya in 2015, he condemned Kenya’s outlawing of homosexual acts as “wrong—full stop,” comparing Kenya’s policy toward gays to the treatment of blacks in the United States prior to the civil rights movement.

“As an African American in the United States I am painfully aware of what happens when people are treated differently under the law,” the President said.

Blacks in the United States, however, consistently rejected Obama’s comparison of gay marriage to the civil rights movement, calling it offensive.

At the time, Charles Gabriel Palmer Buckle, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, Ghana, criticized the U.S. president, noting that the Catholic Church is against homosexual practice as contrary to the law of God and “anti-human.”

“We will not respect homosexuality but have respect for homosexuals because they are created in the likeness of God,” he said. “We are against them adopting children because it is difficult for homosexuals to raise a child to be responsible in the society.”

Archbishop Buckle urged Christians to stand up and affirm their belief in the unchangeable truth that marriage is the stable union of a man and a woman ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring.

“The Church cannot but uphold the fundamental truth about marriage and family life and within the role of sex and sexuality in the whole of the human and social ecology,” he said.

For his part, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese in Nigeria, said that the position of Catholics against homosexuality is irrevocable and that the Church will continue to maintain its stand against gay marriage.

Onaiyekan acknowledged changing trends of public acceptance of homosexual practice but insisted that evolving public opinion doesn’t translate into morality.

“Unfortunately, we are living in a world where these things have now become quite acceptable but for the fact that they are acceptable doesn’t mean that they are right,” he said. “The Catholic Church considers itself as carrying the banner of the truth in the world that has allowed itself to be so badly deceived.”

The cardinal said that the Catholic Church is one of the few religious groups in the world that has maintained its stance against an sexual libertinism and its perennial teaching that homosexual activity is against God’s will.

“Even if people don’t like us for it, our church has always said homosexuality is unnatural and marriage is between a man and a woman,” he stated. “There is no such thing as marriage between two men or marriage between two women, whatever they do among themselves should not be called marriage,” he said.

“There is no question of the Catholic Church changing its positions on this matter,” he said.

Prior to President Obama’s visit, 700 Kenyan evangelical pastors wrote an open letter asking the president not to come to their country to push the gay agenda.

Mark Kariuki, the leader of an alliance representing 38,000 churches and 10 million Kenyan Christians, was the main drafter of the letter.

“We do not want him to come and talk on homosexuality in Kenya or push us to accepting that which is against our faith and culture,” Kariuki said.

Kariuki said he welcomed the president’s visit but suggested he leave “the gay talk” in America.

In 2019, a Tanzanian archbishop accused Western countries of practicing “colonialism” by trying to force African nations to accept homosexual practice, which contradicts African values.

The archbishop of Mwanza, Renatus Nkwande, said that such vices are serious sins against God that demand repentance rather than acceptance.

“We (Africans) are fond of imitating others. They have popularized homosexuality and abortion, and some of us have imitated,” Archbishop Nkwande stated. “I am aware there are some NGOs in the country that dish out medical equipment for abortion.”

“When our forefathers became tired of colonialism, they fought against it. It is time we did the same, fighting against these vices,” he added.

A 2015 article in the New York Times said that the Obama administration had invested “more than $41 million specifically to promote gay rights globally” as well as a portion of $700 million earmarked for marginalized groups “to support gay communities and causes.”

“More than half of the $700 million, and $6.6 million of the $41 million, was spent on sub-Saharan Africa,” the Times article stated.

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