Catholic Priest Talks Tough…Concerned About Gov’t Silence On Same Sex Issue, Failure to Audit Lawmakers

By Alva Mulbah Wolokolie

Since the pronouncement by western governments about 2 years ago warning African leaders against the discrimination of same sex and at the same time imposing advocacy for the rights of gays and lesbians in Africa, there has been no definite position of the Liberian government on this subject including the 53rd National Legislature whom many thought would have passed a law by now denouncing the act.

Despite the criticisms from many quarters in the country the matter has not been laid to rest yet. This time, the resident Priest of the St. Kizito Catholic Church, Rev. Father Ambrose D. Kroma, has spoken tough challenging government to break silence on same sex marriage with a definite position.

In his homily at the Easter Vigil held on Saturday night April 19, 2014, in Paynesville City, Fr. Kroma indicated that Liberia prides itself of being founded and guided by Christian principles with all of its Heads of State being Christians, hence it is ironic that government collectively has been unable to provide a definite position on such an immoral and evil act.

Like Uganda, Nigeria and other African countries that have made declaration against same sex despite huge criticisms and opposition from the West, Fr. Kroma wonders why the Government of Liberia has not done likewise.

“Government of Liberia, when will you break silence on same sex marriage with a definite position? Should this silence be interpreted as acceptance of same sex marriage? Could our rejection of same sex marriage be reflected in the Code of Conduct Bill as well as the Vision 2030 Agenda for Transformation? Sisters and brothers, in the beginning God did not create Adam and Steve; God did not create Eve and Everline; rather in the beginning it was Adam and Eve”. Rev. Fr. Kroma said.

It may be recalled that powerful leaders like US President Barrack Obama, United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon and Great Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, have warned African leaders against the discrimination of same sex and at the same time imposing advocacy for the rights of homosexuals and lesbians in Africa.

This pronouncement has claimed the attention of many African leaders and Liberia is no exception to it. There has been series of advocacies in the country from so-called campaigners that gays and lesbians’ rights should be respected here.

To their utmost surprise, many Liberians including the media have stood tall against such advocacy and described the practice as a western way of life which does not represent the African culture.

Commenting on the National Legislature and at the same time commending the government, the Catholic Prelate offered prayer for the country saying, “We are grateful to God for 10 years of unbroken peace”. He however commended the efforts of the government, its international partners and the people of Liberia for the level of peace and security prevailing in the country as well as the level of infrastructural developments taking place in the country.

As for the lawmakers, Fr. Kroma also pointed out that in Liberia today, there is a growing cry for greater transparency and accountability in all sectors of the society within the country whether it is religious, governmental or non-governmental.

Rev. Fr. Kroma said there are so many unanswered questions about lawmakers’ salaries; bonuses, gasoline and diesel allowances and other benefits.

If all of these are tax payers’ money, Fr. Kroma mentioned that they need to clarify and make open to the public. “One may wonder why has the legislatures not embracing an open and independent audit? One may also ask who makes the budget for the legislature and even more so who vets that budget?” Fr. Kroma asked.

The Catholic Priest suggested that if budgetary allocation should be made for districts in the name of development and alleviate poverty at the level of the districts, he believes it would be fair for  an honest and sincere account be made for the current usage of the County Development Funds (CDF) since its inception; its implementation and how it has impacted the lives of the people.

“If one can’t properly account for US$200,000.00 at county level; how can he or she be trusted with a million US$ at district level?” Fr. Kroma asked.

The Priest further said perhaps the legislature should first exercise greater oversight of the CDF before advocating for direct district development projects.

He then reminded Liberians that if this is not done, Liberians of informed consciences will remain highly skeptical and highly distrustful of those calling for district development funds in the tone of US$73m.

As for the elections year, Fr. Kroma used the occasion to inform Liberians not to vote for anyone associated with ritualistic killings because he wants politicians to realize that power comes from above and not entirely on human efforts.

“When will they accept that extracting parts from that little girl’s body or that little boy’s body will not and cannot win you an election? Let us pray that ritualistic killings do not become apparent anymore in this country. Expose anyone involved and suspected of such diabolic and evil practice. Tonight as we celebrate, Christ the risen Lord, we can only but pray that the light of Christ shine in our lives; transforming us into agents of peace, love and forgiveness,” Fr. Kroma concluded.