Dear Friends of Family Life International,
Early last December, I wrote telling you of my planned trip to Uganda later that month. Our team included Hugh Owen and Dr. Thomas Seiler and myself.
Fr. Jonathan Opio, the director of Human Life Uganda, is a strong supporter of the Gospel of Life and, as our host, organised the schedule for our time in Uganda.
A country with rich ethnic diversity, Uganda has four major languages - English, Bantu, Nilotic and Central Sudanic and a growing population of 43 million, with a life expectancy of around 58 years.
When it comes to marriage and family life, Ugandans have maintained traditional values and, consequently, are blessed with a young vibrant population, of which 48.5% are under15 years of age. This is in sharp contrast with European countries, whose populations are rapidly ageing and, no longer capable of replacing themselves, rely very much on immigrant labour to survive.
Eighty six percent of Uganda’s population is Christian, of which 40% are Catholic, 32% Anglican, 14% are Pentecostal. There is a small Muslim presence of 11%. So it is fair to say that Uganda is really a very strong Catholic and Christian country, especially as there is a very high Mass attendance rate and strong traditional values.
Surveys in Uganda show that there is 99% support the status of marriage to be only between a man and a woman, and almost 70% believe it is wrong to take the life of an unborn child. 81% believe the Catholic priesthood is the reserve of men and 71% support a celibate priesthood. Almost 80% are against divorce, 54% believe contraceptive birth control to be wrong and 99% of Catholics are supportive of the Catholic Faith. Due to its strong Christian background, Uganda remains one of the few countries that still has laws which defend the life of the unborn child. Ominously, there are several international agencies which seek to undermine this policy, but more about that later.
The day after our arrival in Kampala, Fr. Jonathan arranged for one of his priest colleagues Fr. Wazi Gonzaga to take us to Soroti in the eastern part of the country. Fr. Gonzaga teaches in the minor seminary in Soroti and is in charge of youth ministry for the Soroti Diocese. His ministry takes him to all parts of the country and even beyond the borders of Uganda. From Soroti we drove to the Catholic parish of Usuk where thousands of young people were arriving from all over the area. Every available bit of shelter was pressed into service, but it could not accommodate the multitudes. Fortunately, the weather was quite warm and many of the young people were quite happy to sleep under the stars. Several choirs graced the gathering with liturgical songs, in two local languages as well as English, often accompanied by acoustic instruments, and joined by the voices of the thousands of youth in beautiful harmony. The youth sang for hours at a time and listened patiently and attentively to long homilies, catecheses, and spiritual conferences. Holy Masses lasted about two hours with much prolonged, whole-hearted and beautiful singing.
During the conference, Hugh, Thomas and I had many opportunities to speak to catechists, community leaders and to the whole assembly about Church's teaching on holy marriage, natural family planning, the immense dangers of contraceptives and abortion as well as the traditional Church teaching on creation.
With Rosaries supplied by benefactors from the United States, Fr. Gonzaga recruited "Rosary Warriors" among the people and soon had a small army praying the Rosary, an army whose prayers on Judgment Day will no doubt be shown to be responsible for peace and their strong faith. As Fr. Gonazaga observed, the years of insecurity and the continual threat of violence in the past taught the people to rely completely on God. This attitude is manifested in a willingness on the part of Ugandans, young and old, to spend hours singing and praying to the Lord without any sign of impatience or restlessness. The deep faith of the people is also manifested in their reverent reception of Our Lord in Holy Communion, almost always on the tongue and on their knees on the bare ground.
The simple faith of most Ugandan Catholics represents a powerful dynamo that can bring down tremendous graces for Uganda and for the world, yet on every side one sees the forces of evil conspiring to destroy the faith of the people. As we all know the Faith in Western countries has been almost completely destroyed by modernism. European Bishops now regularly recruit priests from Uganda and other parts of Africa, and not only offer them scholarships for advanced degrees at modernist Catholic universities but also give them the care of parishes rendered priest-less as a result of generations of modernist indoctrination in Catholic schools and seminaries. The impact on Uganda is a growing priest shortage, with the vast majority of Catholics only being able to attend Holy Mass and receive the Holy Eucharist a few Sundays in the year! This is a gross injustice, as the lay faithful in rural out-stations have a much greater appreciation for the Sacraments than most of their wealthy brothers and sisters in the west who are being served by so many priests from Uganda and other parts of Africa.
Death Peddlers in Uganda
On our travels we past a Marie Stopes clinic and thought it would be useful and informative to stop off and investigate the activities of the clinic. Marie Stopes is the second largest provider of abortion in the UK and has been actively advocating for a change in the abortion laws in Uganda. It is well known that, in violation of the laws of Uganda, Marie Stopes clinics carry out illegal abortions at their premises. This evil and murderous organisation is generously funded by governments and agencies which include the World Bank, UNFPA, UNICEF, U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.K.’s Department for International Development, and other western countries.
The clinic manager was very forthcoming and enthused with his work, although did not really understand the implications of the great harm he was doing to women’s health. The Marie Stopes organisation had trained the staff how to administer Depo-Provera, (3 monthly contraceptive injection) and Implanon, (3 year contraceptive implant) but the personnel are not trained to give advice to patients of the serious medical risks associated with these drugs.
It is conservatively estimated that 200,000 women have been fitted with implants or given Depo-Provera in Uganda, three quarters of which has been administered by Marie Stopes clinics. The research has established that the health risks and side effects associated with these drugs and devices include arterial cardiovascular disease, deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolus, migraine headaches, vaginal bleeding, breast cancer, liver disease, increase risk of hypertension and other conditions.
These poor women have no means to access treatment should they develop any of these conditions. I met one such woman who was being given Depo-Provera for four years. Because it had caused her significant medical problems, she stopped attending the clinic. I spent the evening with her husband and herself training them on how to use Natural Family Planning (NFP), with our Self Awareness and Fertility Evaluation kit (SAFE). It was sad to see the great moral and physical harm that international agencies do to these women being paid for by our taxes.
The Drive for Population Control in Africa
It is little known that the whole drive for population control in the developing world has its origins in the U.S foreign policy embarked upon by Henry Kissinger in the mid-1970’s. This policy stated in the National Security Study Memorandum 200 (NSSM200), population control was of paramount importance for US national interests and so it was necessary to promote contraceptives in underdeveloped countries to contain their population growth.
Since the U.S. economy requires large and increasing amounts of cheap minerals, which are plentiful in developing countries. the U.S. saw that rapid population growth in these countries could have detrimental economic impact on the U.S. national interests,. If mineral rich countries’ population continued to grow at their current rate, a large young and vibrant population could oppose the cheap exploitation of their resources. Hence for decades now the entire country of Uganda has been overrun by paid agents of USAID, Marie Stopes International, UKAID and Planned Parenthood, all of them offering "free" contraceptives and sex education in the name of "women's empowerment." These agents of change have left a host of wounded women in their wake, victims of the "side effects" of contraception, who have learnt that the agents of women's "empowerment" have no interest in helping the countless women who have been and continue to be physically, emotionally, and spiritually devastated by the deluge of "free" contraceptives.
The Catholic Church’s response in Africa
The good news is that many of the wonderful priests and lay leaders we met in Uganda see the signs of the times and recognise the necessity of rejecting the birth control and abortion mentality, and are prepared to train their people in the use of natural family planning.
Ugandan society still remains a culture where virginity is revered and the society still encourages and promotes abstinence until marriage, and fidelity in marriage. Further the rate of marriage is as high as 76%, with girls tending to get married by the age of 19 years; this was the rate in England in the early 1960s. This policy has been the saving grace for Uganda in being able to reduce the HIV/AIDS rates from 21% at the height of the epidemic in 1991 to 6% in 2010.
Our team had several opportunities to speak to MPs, town and village elders, couples, medical staff and health care workers. At these meetings we were able to present the true and factual impacts of the overpopulation myth and the reality of contraceptive birth control on women’s health. We were able to present natural methods of spacing children using NFP. This was warmly welcomed by those attending the presentations as these methods were easily taught, free to introduce and healthy as they did not have the health risks strongly associated with contraceptive drugs and devices.
One evening I had the opportunity to meet with one of those whose job it was to provide healthcare information. Although, from personal experience, he was very concerned about the harm these drugs cause women in the villages, he said that it would be difficult for him to inform women of the dangerous risks and side effects of these methods as the health department is so well funded by the contraceptive agents. The reality is that since the population control agencies, which fund and promote birth control, do not want the people to have either births or self-control, they will use contraceptives as a well tested vehicle for them to build an abortion industry in the developing world.
In the 12 days I spent in Uganda I was able to teach over 250 couples about NFP and I managed to distribute 130 NFP training kits. I was also able to provide the necessary resources a laptop, projector, screen and course notes so that the pro-life team could continue to teach couples.
Our team intends to return to Uganda later this year to continue this great work of charity. Fr. Jonathan Opio, has four volunteer staff members in his office who work very hard in the defence of life, but he is in need of funds and resources in order to challenge the agents of death. We want to send him a further 500 NFP training kits and materials to train more couples. We also need to give him and his team the means to convince politicians of the benefits of teaching women about natural method of spacing their children rather than the drugs and devices with their side effects pushed by population controllers.
I have uploaded some of the pictures, video and music from our experience to our website so that you can see and share in the tremendous faithfulness of the Ugandan people. With the help of your continued prayers and financial support, we know and believe that we can work with our friends in various parts of the country to help make Uganda a bastion of our Christian faith and remain defenders of life.
Yours Faithfully in Our Lord Jesus Christ