SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Francis Njuguna

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June 12, 2020
The central African nation of Burundi has a new president. Evariste Ndayishimiye, the current secretary-gen­eral of the ruling CNDD-FDD party, won the May 20 election with 69 per cent, and will succeed Pierre Nkurunziza, a member of the same party. But concerns were immed­iately raised about many irregularities in the conduct of the election. Burun­di’s
May 22, 2020
The coronavirus, and the government-imposed lockdowns, pose an especially serious threat in countries where many poor families live in “informal settlements” (slums). One of those countries is Kenya, where the state imposed an 11-hour curfew in mid-March. Now, with many Kenyans threatened by starvation, the country’s Catholic bishops have launched an urgent appeal for humanitarian
March 26, 2020
Last December the Vatican wrote to Church leaders in South Sudan informing them that it had accepted the retirement of Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro as the head of Juba archdiocese and appointed Bishop Stephen Ameyu Mulla of Torit as his successor. In normal circumstances the local Catholic community would welcome the news and arrange a
February 13, 2020
The Catholic Church has sometimes had a tense relationship with the Rwandan government. But last month officials announced that they were donating a 14-acre plot for the construction of a new Catholic cathedral in the capital, Kigali. It will be built on land that was formerly occupied by one of the country’s largest and oldest
January 23, 2020
In 2017, Fr Anthony Muheria became the first Opus Dei priest in Africa to be named an archbishop. Today the Archbishop of Nyeri is being mentioned as a potential future leader of the Kenyan Catholic Church. Although the 56-year-old is relatively young for an archbishop, he has three decades of experience, first as a priest,
November 21, 2019
Kenya’s Catholic bishops have embarked on a nationwide anti-corruption campaign. The campaign, called “Let Us Break the Chains of Corruption”, was launched on October 5 and is expected to last six months, after which the Church will assess its impact. Corruption, or graft, is a serious problem in Kenya, an east African nation with a
September 12, 2019
At 5am on April 30, 1997, rebels attacked the minor seminary of Buta in the Diocese of Bururi and ordered those inside to separate along ethnic lines. A civil war had raged in the country since 1993, pitting the Tutsi minority against the Hutu majority. The seminary had refused to be drawn into the strife
June 27, 2019
The Catholic Church in Burundi has raised the alarm over human rights violations in the country. In a statement issued at the end of their June 4-7 plenary meeting, the bishops said: “We are worried about the progressive increase of political intolerance which, in different parts of the country, provokes clashes and even victims.” They
February 14, 2019
It is 25 years since one of the worst atrocities in modern history: the Rwandan genocide, in which 800,000 people, mostly from the Tutsi minority, were slaughtered. In 2016, the Rwandan Church offered an official apology for its part in the killings. Priests took part in or acquiesced in the genocide; churches, sought as refuges,
December 13, 2018
Close to the Holy Family Minor Basilica, Nairobi’s Catholic cathedral, a team of Chinese engineers can be seen directing work on a building site. The team has been commissioned by the archdiocese to build a four-storey underground car park at a cost of £7 million ($9 million). The same engineers have already overseen the building
November 15, 2018
Germany’s church tax, while not universally admired, has a new supporter: Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga of Kampala, Uganda. After visiting Germany, the archbishop suggested at a Sunday Mass at his cathedral that Uganda might consider adopting the model. The suggestion has not gone down well, with Catholics protesting that giving to the Church should be
September 13, 2018
Why some of Kenya’s Muslim pupils are switching schools Earlier this summer Kenya’s state secondary schools experienced a wave of unrest, with students setting dozens of dormitories on fire. Concerns are growing, too, about the sexual abuse of pupils: at one school, nearly 1,000 girls walked out in protest against alleged harassment by a staff