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Papal Representative wants humanity valued  

The Popes Representative to Kenya and South Sudan Dr. Hubert Maria Van Megan has said that there is need for all human beings to respect the key values of humanity for people to co-exist harmoniously.

Van Megan said respect for creation, humanity, for each other and people’s homes is a value that can bring justice and peace among people and nations, as well as help to eradicate poverty.

Pope Representative to Kenya and Southern Sudan Apostolic Nuncio Dr. Hubertus Matheus Maria Van Megen (right) receive a present from Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic and Student Life, Sr. Prof. Jacinta Odhiambo after attending a Church Symposium at Tangaza University College.
Photos by Bonface Malinda/KNA

“Society has lost sensitivity of humanity based on survival of the fittest and profitability,” said Van Megan while mentioning the Pope Francis phrase that says, ‘People can no longer think of personal interest but common good as no one can be saved alone.’

He added that the various crisis facing humanity and States are connected and must be overcome by the spirit of God, cooperation and unity.

The Popes representative, also known as Papal Nuncio, was speaking today during the Church History Symposium themed ‘The Church and the State in the Post-pandemic Era: Lessons from History- 900 years from the First Lateran Council (1123) and 700 years from the Black Death Pandemic (1323) that was held at Tangaza University College in Karen, Nairobi.

The objective of the two-day conference that was attended by scholars from across globe is to reflect on the 14th  century Black Death plague that killed millions globally in the year 1323 and connect the history with current social crisis such as Covid among others and look for solutions to tackle such pandemics in future.

The annual event also aims to reflect on the relationship between the church and state and to bring out the story and history of Africa into the world story.

The Popes Representative said the Catholic Church advocates for diplomacy that deals with persuasion when handling issues with States which is usually done behind closed doors with a lot of patience.

He said there was lot of skeptism concerning the recent Pope Francis’s visit to South Sudan for peace negotiations that was supported by both the South Sudan government and Opposition which he termed very successful.

Tangaza University College Dean of Theology, Fr. Josephat Wanyonyi (center) addresses members of the press at the campus during a Church Symposium. He is Flanked by Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic and and Student Life Sr.Prof.Jacinta Odhiambo (left) and Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration and Finance Dr. Leo Mwenda.

Van Megan said many things in the church are substantial, noting God can reveal himself in different ways and circumstances that could even be hidden and revealed through cultural expressions.

“The presence of God will always be reflected in our times, in our culture, God’s existence has been a threat,” he added.

Van Megan at the same time stated that in the modern world, the State has become God who decides what is good and evil and wants its presence felt everywhere, whereas individualist society wants God to be limited to their private spaces.

“State ruling power claims over ultimate power on each individual where freedom is just an illusion,” he stated and added that the church is ill prepared for that kind battle since its focus is spiritual.

In his remarks, Mr. Aloysius Maina, the Administrator Assistant in the Church History Department at Tangaza University College said the symposium will enable the scholars interrogate the relation existing between  the state and the church.

“The church is also taking measures to keep the church history on what was written by writers, original texts which brings lessons of richness and wealth of the church,” said Maina.

He added that the University’s department of Church history plans to introduce programmes of scientific level methods that emphasis on citation, scholarly and research to help bring to mind the authenticity and richness and wealth of the churches  and in particular the African church history.

By Bernadette Khaduli

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