FeaturedTheology

The Church in Uganda Can Save the World

by Hugh Owen

On my first trip to Uganda in 2016, two of my colleagues and I arranged to stay a stone’s throw from the Ugandan Martyrs’ Shrine, at a retreat center run by the Foyer of Charity, a lay apostolate founded by the French victim soul, the Servant of God Marthe Robin.  The Foyer is located in a suburb of Kampala called Namugongo, where most of the Ugandan Martyrs died for the faith in the 1880’s.  The Shrine of the Ugandan Martyrs is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in the world, attracting pilgrims from all over Africa and beyond, especially on the Martyrs’ Feast Day, June 3.  Beginning two weeks before the Feast, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims begin to arrive at Namugongo each year, many of them having walked from as far away as Mombasa on the east coast of Kenya.

We went to Uganda under the auspices of the Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation, which provides a forum for Catholic theologians, philosophers, and natural scientists who defend the traditional Catholic doctrine of creation that was believed and proclaimed by all of Fathers, Doctors, Popes and Council Fathers in their authoritative teaching from the time of the Apostles.  For more than fifteen years, my colleagues and I had gone all over the world defending the traditional Catholic doctrine of creation as the only solid foundation for a true culture of life and exposing the bankruptcy of molecules to man evolution and its role as the foundation of the anti-culture of death.  Of all the countries in the world, however, none had been so receptive to our message as the African countries that we had visited—Nigeria, Kenya, and now, for the first time, Uganda.

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Through the kindness of our contacts in Uganda and of a Kenyan priest friend who came over from Kenya to meet us, we were able to rehearse and produce a play on the Ugandan martyrs and to give talks and seminars on creation and evolution to­­­­ various communities.  A religion teacher and choir director at a local Catholic high school organized a group of about thirty young people to perform the African parts in the play while Kolbe advisor Eric Bermingham’s son Joseph Bermingham, Dr. Thomas Seiler and I played the parts of the Europeans in the play—Bishop Livinac, Fr. Lourdel, the protestant missionary Alexander McKay, and the German evolutionist, Herr Schneider.  After five days of intense rehearsing, the play was performed in the Hall of the Foyer of Charity to a most enthusiastic audience including the entire local community of the Missionaries of Charity, the Foyer of Charity priests and sisters, the head of Human Life Uganda, one of the leading local authorities on the Ugandan Martyrs, the woman in charge of the local Catholic radio station, and a staunchly pro-life Catholic member of the Ugandan parliament.  The audience seemed united in the opinion that the play should be taken around the country to strengthen the faith of the people.

In between rehearsals, we spoke to a variety of Catholic and non-Catholic groups, including a local parish, a local community of the Missionaries of Charity, a group of women leaders from various dioceses who were making a retreat at the Foyer, a large group of major seminarians, and an equally large group of students at Makerere University in Kampala.  One of the ladies at the women’s retreat also arranged for us to meet with the priest in charge of doctrine for the entire Ugandan Bishops’ Conference.  We found all of the Catholic audiences extremely receptive to our message, especially the priest in charge of doctrine.  The Catholics of child-bearing age and older understand very well that the faith of their children and grandchildren must be protected against the forces that have destroyed the faith of most of the young people of Europe and North America.  Most of them have not identified evolution as a key element in the modernism that has destroyed the faith in those areas, but as soon as it is explained to them, they quickly appreciate its destructiveness.  We had never been anywhere else in the world where so many Catholics from clergy to lay people appreciated the need to educate their children about the errors of evolutionism.

In spite of the strong faith that we observed in so many of the Catholics we met, we also observed serious external and internal threats to the continued vitality of the Church in Uganda.  On the first leg of our journey to Uganda, from Washington, D.C., to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, I sat next to a woman who helps to manage a 65 million-dollar project for Aid to International Development in Uganda.  We found common ground in our opposition to the introduction of genetically modified food crops in Africa, but we stood poles apart on most other issues.  The USAID worker told me that she is a health expert specializing in “gender training­,” no doubt trying to educate women about the benefits of contraception and fostering feminism.

It is only deficit spending and Federal Reserve control over the money supply in the U.S. that allows the government to waste billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money on unsolicited social engineering in Third World countries.  If the government actually had to raise the money it spends on unwanted social engineering, taxpayers would rise up against it.  But almost everyone in the U.S. has grown so accustomed to the government spending trillions of dollars it doesn’t have that most Americans have lost touch with the reality that financial irresponsibility on this scale must eventually destroy the value of the currency and collapse the economy.  In the meantime, deficit spending allows a legion of government workers like my neighbor on the plane to propagate evolution-based secular humanism and feminism in places all over the world.  Happily, the member of Ugandan parliament who attended our play told us that he and his colleagues have enacted a law banning sex education in the government schools and that they plan to have a public burning of the sex education textbooks that people like the USAID worker next to me have brought into the country. On the other hand, one would be extremely naïve to think that American change agents with hundreds of millions of dollars cannot effectively undermine the traditional morality of the country.

First Mission to Uganda

When the first French missionaries arrived in Uganda in the 1880s, the ideologies and religious movements that now compete for the allegiance of the youth of the world were already well established.  The original monotheism of the ancestors of the Baganda, the principal people of the kingdom that developed into modern-day Uganda, had given way to almost universal paganism, including the routine offering of human sacrifice.  Muslims had been active in the Kingdom for centuries.  Well-funded Protestant missionaries from the United Kingdom had been active for several years, and secular humanist, evolution-believing ambassadors from Germany had appeared on the scene, actively seeking to expand Germany’s holdings in East Africa, with a view to subjugating and exploiting the “less fit,” less “evolved” indigenous people for the benefit of the “more advanced,” i.e., “more highly evolved” members of the German nation.  Into this cauldron of conflicting world-views, the Missionaries of the Society of Africa plunged in 1879, bearing with them the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Faith that was destined in a short time to produce a heroic response from the native people—a response that would culminate in the pure offering of the Ugandan Martyrs, the seed of a great renewal and restoration of the Faith.

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The first Catholic missionaries to Uganda were the White Fathers, members of the Society of Missionaries of Africa, founded in 1868 by the Archbishop of Algiers, Cardinal Charles Lavigerie.  The fathers took their name from their religious habit which resembled the traditional clothing worn in North Africa: a white tunic, or “gandoura,” and a hooded cape. After establishing their first missions in Algeria, Fr. Simeon Lourdel and Brother Amans Delmas entered the Rift Valley lakes region of East Africa and arrived in the Kingdom of Buganda (in what is now Uganda) in February 1878.  At that time, the Buganda Kingdom boasted a population of three million souls divided among thirty-six clans.  They were ruled by a king known as the Kabaka who had absolute power over the people and who was assisted in his government of the Kingdom by ten county chiefs.

The ancient religion of the Baganda had been monotheistic.  They had worshipped the Creator of all things under various titles: Katonda, the Creator; Mukama, the Master; and Seggulu, the Lord of Heaven.  The worship of Katonda, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, was in the early days the basis of public and private morality.  The ancient Baganda were said to have been remarkably honest and loyal in their dealings with each other, and to have had a strict code of morality which frowned on polygamy and even forbade immodest talk. When the White Fathers arrived in the Kingdom, the reigning Kabaka was Mutesa I.   Mutesa’s reign had begun in 1857, and has been characterized by a strong Arab influence, resulting from extensive commerce between the Arabs of Zanzibar and the East Coast of Africa and the Baganda.  For guns, powder, beads and cotton-cloth the Kabaka, who controlled all the wealth of the country, bartered ivory, both black and white.   Unfortunately, the Muslim traders also introduced perverse behavior into the Kingdom that the Baganda had never practiced and for which they did not even have words in their language.  Kabaka Mutesa had adopted these perverse practices and had begun to impose them on his retinue, especially on the young men of his court.

When Fr. Lourdel appeared for the first time at the court of the Kabaka, he excited the admiration of the king by his practice of priestly celibacy.  The Kabaka himself had about 900 wives and although he was strongly attracted to Christianity by the words and example of the French missionaries, he could not bring himself to contemplate putting away all of his wives but one.  In October 1879, the Kabaka went so far as to repeatedly request Holy Baptism at the hands of Fr. Lourdel, but Fr. Lourdel explained to him that he could only receive Holy Baptism if he resolved to obey all of the teachings of the Church, including her teaching on Holy Matrimony.  This the Kabaka could not accept, and so he rejected the grace of Holy Baptism for the time being.  In the meantime, however, a number of young people fell in love with the Truth that emanated from the words and example of the missionaries and soon the first catechumens of Buganda began to prepare for Holy Baptism.

While the Kabaka remained enslaved to unnatural vice and to polygamy, other leading men of the kingdom, inspired by the words and example of the priests, renounced all of their wives but one and resolved to take up their Cross and follow their crucified Savior unto death.  The testimony of the assistant county chief, Matthias Kalemba, known as the Malumba, is as moving today as when he first pronounced it to Fr. Livinac.  In his confession, Ezekiel-like, Matthias described his personal passage from paganism, to Islam, to Protestantism, to the Holy Catholic Faith, as if to prophetically foreshadow the future of a multitude of his African brethren.  He testified:

[M]y father always believed that the Baganda had not the truth, and he sought it in his heart.  He often mentioned this to me, and before his death he told me that men would one day come to teach us the right way. These words made a profound impression on me and, whenever the arrival of some stranger was reported I watched him and tried to get in touch with him, saying to myself that here perhaps was the man foretold by my father.  Thus I associated with the Arabs who came first in the reign of King Suna.  Their creed seemed to me superior to our superstitions.  I received instruction and together with a number of Baganda, I embraced their religion.  King Mutesa himself, anxious to please the Sultan of Zanzibar, of whose power and wealth he had been given an exaggerated account, declared that he also wanted to become a Muslim.  Orders were given to build mosques in all the counties.  For a short time, it looked as if the whole country was going to embrace the religion of the false prophet, but Mutesa had an extreme repugnance to circumcision.  Consequently, changing his mind all of a sudden, he gave orders to exterminate all who had become Muslims.  A good many perished in the massacre, two or three hundred managed to escape and, with Arab caravans, made their way to the Island of Zanzibar.  I succeeded with a few others in concealing the fact of my conversion and continued to pass for a friend of our own gods, though in secret I remained faithful to the practices of Islam.

That was how things stood when the Protestants arrived. Mutesa received them very well; he had their book read in public audience and seemed to incline to their religion, which he declared to be much superior to that of the Arabs.  I asked myself whether I had not made a mistake, and whether, perhaps, the newcomers were the true messengers of God.  I often went to visit them and attended their instructions.  It seemed to me that their teaching was an improvement on that of my first masters. I therefore abandoned Islam, without however asking for Baptism.

Several months had elapsed when you arrived.  My instructor, [the protestant missionary] Mackay, took care to tell me that the white men who had just arrived did not know the truth. He called your religion the “worship of the woman”; he said you adored the Virgin Mary.  He also advised me to avoid you with the greatest care.  I therefore kept away from you, and I would probably never have set foot in your place if my chief had not ordered me to supervise the building of one of your houses.  But God showed His love for me.  The first time when I saw you nearby, I was very much impressed.  Nevertheless, I continued to watch you closely at your prayers and in your dealings with the people.  Then seeing your goodness, I said to myself, “How can people who appear so good be the messengers of the devil?”

I talked with those who had placed themselves under instruction and questioned them on your doctrine.  What they told me was just the contrary of what Mackay had assured me.  Then I felt strongly urged to attend personally your catechetical instructions.  God gave me the grace to understand that you taught the truth, and that you really were the man of God of whom my father had spoken.  Since then, I have never had the slightest doubt about the truth of your religion, and I feel truly happy.[1]

Even after an intense catechumenate, the missionaries hesitated to baptize an assistant chief with several wives, but in 1882 Matthias assured them that he had firmly resolved to remain monogamous:

I have made up my mind through my own free will.  I am a mature man. I am determined to be a Catholic and to abide by all the Catholic laws, never to turn back to my old ways, [come what] may.[2]

Thus, Kalemba Mulumba was baptized on Pentecost Sunday in 1882 and given the name Matthias.

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The Infant Church Flourishes

Matthias Kalemba was one of only twenty baptized Catholics in the Kingdom of Buganda when in November 1882 Bishop Livinac recalled the French missionaries to Tanganyika to protect them from a rumored massacre at the hands of Kabaka Mutesa.  The Kabaka did not want to harm the missionaries, but the leaders of the pagan and Muslim communities in the kingdom were pressuring him to get rid of the missionaries, so he spread a rumor that a plot had been hatched to kill them, calculating correctly that the rumor would reach them and that their Bishop would then order them to withdraw to safety.

The French missionaries left behind a fledgling Church of 20 newly baptized Catholics and 300 catechumens, all of whom were being pressured by pagan relatives, Muslims, and protestant missionaries to abandon their new-found Faith.  Instead, an officer of the king’s court, St. Joseph Mukasa Balkuddembe, assumed the leadership of the local Church and organized the first Catholic synod with almost 100 percent participation of all of the baptized and catechumens.  Under his leadership, having prayed fervently for divine assistance, the synod established meeting places where the faithful could hold services each Sunday and receive instructions in the Faith. Not content to maintain the faith of its members, the synod further resolved to convert the entire Kingdom of Buganda to the Catholic Faith and placed leaders among the baptized in charge of evangelizing the king’s court as well as other communities where the faithful lived.  The synod also resolved that those who served as administrators in the king’s court, like St. Joseph Mukasa, St. Charles Lwanga, and the young men who served under them, should win the king over to the true Faith by rendering him exemplary service.  Finally, they committed themselves to the formidable task of sending groups of the faithful to Tanganyika—now Tanzania—at regular intervals to receive the sacraments and catechesis from the French missionaries.

So successfully did the fledgling Church accomplish these objectives that when the missionaries returned to Buganda two and half years later, the number of baptized Catholics and catechumens (including some of the 170 baptized in emergency by the previously baptized members) had grown 25-fold to 8000, and instead of having only one place of worship in Kampala, the faithful had established no less than five centers for worship and catechesis.  In 1884, Mutesa I fell ill with a disgusting disease, and his pagan relatives and attendants abandoned him into the care of his Catholic servants, Joseph Mukasa and John Mary Muzeeyi.  At the point of death, but still conscious, the Kabaka willingly received Holy Baptism at the hands of Joseph Mukasa and thus entered eternity on Sunday, October 19, 1884, his soul washed clean in the Blood of the Lamb.

Unfortunately, the new Kabaka, Mwanga II, suffered from an addiction to marijuana and an even greater attachment to unnatural vice than his predecessor, and this placed an enormous burden on St. Charles Lwanga and St. Joseph Mukasa, as well as on the young Christians who served under them in the king’s court. In spite of these conditions, the lay leaders faithfully sacrificed themselves to nurture the new believers.  When King Mwanga moved his court about eight miles from Kampala, it became impossible for the new Christians to go to the priests in Kampala for instructions and to receive the sacraments.  St. Charles Lwanga had no choice but to lead a group every night to the priests’ compound, returning in the wee hours of the morning, while the rest of the court remained asleep.

They used to stealthily leave Munyonyo Palace at about 10 p.m. under cover of darkness when most people had gone to bed.  They would reach [the priests’ compound] at Nalukolongo at about 12:00 p.m., have religious instructions followed by Mass and the sacraments from 1:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. They had to go back and reach the palace at about 5:00 a.m., secretly creeping into their respective huts.  Despite the long journey and little sleep, these young Christians made sure that they were among the first ones to wake up and to carry out their normal duties.  At first the old Christians used to leave the young ones behind for fear of the dangers on the way and fatigue.  They had to go through thick forests, and at times meet dangerous wild animals, hostile people, murderers . . . On one hand, the old members did not want to disturb the sleep of the young boys.  On the other hand, these young boys were pestering their masters to take them to Nalukolongo mission for religious instructions, Mass . . . However, the adults were always tricky and managed to leave the young boys behind.

But on learning of the trick the youngsters hit upon a plan.  Charles Lwanga and [14 year old] Kizito were living in the same house.  The former used to open and close the door stealthily whle the latter was asleep.  The door was made of reeds that had to be pulled forward when closing and backwards on opening.  One night Kizito fixed a rope on the door and tied it to one of his legs in such a way that when Lwanga pulled to the door open he had to pull Kizito’s leg and that movement would wake up the boy.  When Lwanga opened the door as usual he pulled Kizito’s leg and automatically woke him up.  The boy was very pleased and smart, he went quickly around and woke up his peers who joyfully joined the group.  From that time onwards the young boys were never left behind.[3]

The young Catholics needed all of the graces they could obtain through prayer, catechesis and the sacraments, because they were constantly subjected to temptations of all kinds, especially against chastity.  On the one hand, they had to resist the perverse demands of the Kabaka, and on the other hand, the advances of the hundreds of neglected concubines of the king and their numerous attendants.  Meanwhile, the leaders of the pagan and Muslim factions conspired to make King Mwamba believe that the French and the British sought to take over his kingdom, so that the increasingly fearful king ordered the murder of the Anglican Bishop Hannington when he attempted to enter the kingdom through Busoga in November of 1886.

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Seed of Christians

Mukasa had proven his steadfast loyalty to the king on many occasions.  Once he had even killed a poisonous snake with his bare hands to protect the king.  But Mwamba’s growing fears of a foreign invasion made him increasingly suspicious of the Catholics in his court.  When Joseph dared to protest the Kabaka’s decision to put Bishop Hannington to death, the king turned on him and ordered him to be put to death as well.  On November 15, 1885, he was beheaded and burned at Nakivubo.  With his death, the persecution of Christians began in earnest.

When Mwanga called for two of his pages to have his way with them and found out that they had gone to take lessons from the priests, he flew into a rage.  Denis Ssebuggwawo, a lad of 16, and Andrew Kaggwa, the court bandmaster, a man of thirty years of age, were beheaded at Munyoyo, and Pontian Ngondwe, a member of the palace guard, was speared and hacked to pieces nearby on the same day, the 26th of May.  Then, on the orders of the Chancellor Mukasa, Matthias Kalemba, the Mulumba

was brought to the Katikkiro’s (Prime Minister) tribunal . . . the Mulumba was furiously rebuked by the Katikkiro who castigated him for “putting chiefs to shame by sending away all your wives and cooking your own food.”  To which Mulumba retorted, “Have I been arrested and brought before you because I am thin or for the religion I am practicing?”

The Katikkiro became more furious and ordered the executioners to take Mulumba to Namugongo [a place for official executions, now a shrine in Kampala] to be killed in a most cruel manner.  On reaching Old Kampala, and for fear of his being pardoned by the king, Mulumba told the executioners: “Why do you take me all the way to Namugongo as if there is no death here, kill me here.” The executioners were annoyed, took Malumba a little distance into the jungle of elephant grass and killed him using the most cruel methods.  They cut off his arms at the elbows, then cut off his legs at the ankles and knees.  Finally, they cut off strips of flesh from his back and roasted them before him.  The executioners used skillful means to stop the bleeding so that he could stay longer in pain.  Thus, the Malumba died the most cruel, brutal, and lingering death, from Thursday, May 27, to Sunday, May 30, 1886.[4]

At more or less the same time, Athanasius Bazzekuketta a young man of 20 was hacked to pieces at Nakivubo and Gonzaga Gonza a lad of about 24 was speared and beheaded at Lubawo.  Within days, Charles Lwanga, the Head Page in the court of audience hall under Mwanga, was burned alive with a group of court pages at Namugongo.  When the executioner Mukajanga taunted Lwanga , “See whether your God will come and deliver you from the fire,” Charles responded: “You poor foolish man!  You do not understand what you are saying.  You are burning me, but it is as if you were pouring water over my body.  I am dying for God’s religion.  But be warned in time, or God whom you insult will one day plunge you into the real fire.”[5]

Burned with Charles were Luke Banabakintu, a man in his early thirties, an official under the county chief of Ssingo; James Buzabaliawo, a lad of 25 or more, second in command to Andrew Kaggwa in the royal band; and Bruno Serunkuma, a member of the palace guard, a man of thirty years of age.  The rest were pages: Gyavira, seventeen; Ambrose Kibuka, a 18; Anatole Kiriggwajjo, in his early twenties; Achilles Kiwanuka, 17; Kizito, a boy of 14 or 15 years of age; Mbaga Tuzinde, 17; Mugagga, 16 or 17; Mukasa Kiriwawanvu, a lad in his twenties; and Adophus Mukasa Ludigo, 24 or 25 years of age.  In all, 43 Christians gave their lives for their Faith, 20 Catholics and 23 Anglicans. Recalling the joy with which the martyrs went to their deaths, one of the executioners confessed:

We have put many people to death, but never such as these.  On other occasions the victims did nothing but moan and weep, but the Christians were wonderful.  There was not a sigh, not even an angry word.  All we heard was the soft murmur on their lips.  They prayed until they died.[6]

“The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians,” and the White Fathers long continued to reap the harvest sown by the martyred leaders St. Joseph Mukasa, St. Charles Lwanga, St. Matthias Mulumba and their companions.  The White Fathers required several years of formation before Holy Baptism, and the solid faith of their spiritual sons and daughters gave the Church in Uganda a firm foundation that endures to this day.  When Italian Comboni missionaries entered Uganda from the north in the early 1900’s, they encountered catechists whose sound formation in the Faith made them pillars of strength for the new Catholic communities they founded in the northern part of the country.

One day Fr. Colombaroli received the visit of two men from across the river. They said that they were Alur and were sent by chief Okello. One of them had a Rosary around his neck. He told the priest that his name was Areni and that he had been baptized in Uganda where he had lived some years. He added: “Chief Okello too is a Catholic; I baptized him together with his wife and sister when they were ill; all the people of the village want to become Catholics. I am instructing many of them and leading the Sunday prayers. Chief Okello invites you to go to his village; he will prepare the house for you and will send a boat to fetch you. Chief Okello wants a catechism in Alur, if you have one, or even in Kiswahili, and also a Rosary, and also some medals for those who come to catechism.”  Fr. Colombaroli was delighted to hear all these; he gave Areni all that he asked for and fixed a day for his visit to chief Okello. On the appointed day, “after three Sundays and three days”, Areni arrived with the chief’s boat. “Chief Okello wants to see you very much”, he said. The following day, Fr. Colombaroli embarked on the small boat with Areni and his men and after 8 hours of rowing they landed at Panyimur. A little crowd watched while Okello welcomed the Father. “Here is the man of God who comes to teach us”, they said. Father pitched a tent near the hut where Areni gathered his little flock. That same evening he attended at the catechism lesson and prayers at which chief Okello too was present. It was all impressive and promising. “You see”, chief Okello told the priest, “my father is dead and I do not know where he is now; but I want to go to heaven after my death.”

The missionary went back to Omach with great joy. Fr. Colombaroli related everything [and was confident that] “we could gather an abundant harvest of souls”. His dream, however, was not to become true for many years to come, and only after many trials. This story which we have reported in detail shows especially two things; first that the faith was first brought to the West Nile by a Catechist; secondly, that catechists are indispensable in the vineyard of the Lord.[7]

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Two Foundations: Creation-Based Orthodoxy and Evolution-Based Modernism

The gold standard for catechesis in Africa from the time of the first missions in Buganda well into the twentieth century was the Roman Catechism, the Catechism of the Council of Trent. The Catechism of Trent was published in 1566 to all the bishops by one of the greatest reformers in the history of the Church, Pope St. Pius V, with instructions to have it translated and made available to everyone responsible for religious instruction.  The writing of the Roman Catechism was presided over by a canonized saint, the Archbishop of Milan, St. Charles Borromeo, and the work has received the approval of more Popes and canonized saints than any catechism in the history of the Catholic Church.  Pope Clement XIII said that it contains “that teaching which is the common doctrine of the Church, from which all danger of doctrinal error is absent”; Pope Leo XIII spoke of it as “that golden book,” which is a “precious summary of all theology, both dogmatic and moral”; and Pope St. Pius X ordered that pastors should preach to the people out of the Roman Catechism during his pontificate.

In its explanation of the dogma of creation as set forth in the first article of the Creed, the Catechism affirmed the creation of all things by divine fiat in the beginning:

As it was His own goodness that influenced Him when He did all things whatsoever He would, so in the work of creation He followed no external form or model; but contemplating, and as it were imitating, the universal model contained in the divine intelligence, the supreme Architect, with infinite wisdom and power­ attributes peculiar to the Divinity ­­ created all things in the beginning.  He spoke and they were made: he commanded and they were created (emphasis added).

Commenting further on the first article of the Creed, the Catechism taught that:

The words heaven and earth include all things which the heavens and the earth contain; for besides the heavens, which the Prophet has called the works of his fingers, He also gave to the sun its brilliancy, and to the moon and stars their beauty; and that they might be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years.  He so ordered the celestial bodies in a certain and uniform course, that nothing varies more than their continual revolution, while nothing is more fixed than their variety.

With these words, this “precious summary of all theology” taught that the order of the celestial bodies was instituted by God from the beginning.  There was no “evolution” of stars or planets. The Catechism then described the creation of the creatures of the earth by divine fiat:

The earth also God commanded to stand in the midst of the world, rooted in its own foundation, and made the mountains ascend, and the plains descend into the place which he had founded for them.  That the waters should not inundate the earth, He set a bound which they shall not pass over; neither shall they return to cover the earth.  He next not only clothed and adorned it with trees and every variety of plant and flower, but filled it, as He had already filled the air and water, with innumerable kinds of living creatures (emphasis added).

Thus, according to this “precious summary of all theology,” God created all of the creatures of the earth by His word, instantly and immediately.  During the six days, He made, specifically, trees, “every variety of plant and flower,” air creatures and water creatures and land animals.   There was no evolution and no long interval of time.  The Catechism goes on to affirm the special creation of Adam:

Lastly, He formed man from the slime of the earth, so created and constituted in body as to be immortal and impassible, not, however, by the strength of nature, but by the bounty of God.  Man’s soul He created to His own image and likeness; gifted him with free will, and tempered all his motions and appetites so as to subject them, at all times, to the dictates of reason.  He then added the admirable gift of original righteousness, and next gave him dominion over all other animals.  By referring to the sacred history of Genesis, the pastor will easily make himself familiar with these things for the instruction of the faithful (emphasis added).

According to the Catechism, the plain sense of the sacred history of Genesis is so sure a guide to the truth of the creation and early history of the world and of man that the council fathers direct the pastor to read the sacred history so that he can “easily” make himself familiar with the facts.  “Lastly” means God created man last.  There has been no further creation since the creation of Adam and Eve—only variation within limits established during the six days.  The Catechism goes on to affirm that God finished the work of creation with the creation of Adam and Eve:

We now come to the meaning of the word sabbath.  Sabbath is a Hebrew word which signifies cessation.  To keep the Sabbath, therefore, means to cease from labor and to rest.  In this sense the seventh day was called the Sabbath, because God, having finished the creation of the world, rested on that day from all the work which He had done.  Thus it is called by the Lord in Exodus (emphasis added).

According to the Catechism, God finished the creation of the world specifically on the sixth day, because He ceased creating new kinds of creatures on the seventh day.  The Catechism goes on to explain that:

the Church of God has thought it well to transfer the celebration and observance of the Sabbath to Sunday.

For, as on that day light first shone on the world, so by the Resurrection of our Redeemer on the same day, by whom was thrown open to us the gate to eternal life, we were called out of darkness into light; and hence the Apostles would have it called the Lord’s day.

We also learn from the Sacred Scriptures that the first day of the week was held sacred because on that day the work of creation commenced, and on that day the Holy Ghost was given to the Apostles (emphasis added).

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The missionaries laid strong foundations in Uganda because they required a long preparation for Holy Baptism with solid catechesis. Consequently, the roots of the Faith struck deep in the soil of Ugandan society.  Sadly, the faith that animated the first missionaries to Africa began to deteriorate in Europe by the end of the nineteenth century, prompting Pope Leo XIII to found the Pontifical Biblical Commission to combat the modernism that had begun to spread through the ranks of the clergy and intellectual laity.  While the French missionaries were sowing the seeds of faith in Uganda, Pope Leo XIII lamented the spread of godlessness in Europe. And at the very time when Fr. Lourdel refused Holy Baptism to King Mutesa to safeguard the sanctity of Holy Marriage, the European freemasons and their allies launched an all-out campaign to legalize divorce—sometimes, with good reason, called “serial polygamy”—in Catholic countries where it was prohibited by law. To combat this assault on the foundations of Christian society, Pope Leo published an entire encyclical on Holy Marriage entitled Arcanum divinae in which he exhorted the Bishops of the whole world to defend Holy Matrimony on the foundation of God’s Revelation in Genesis:

The true origin of marriage, venerable brothers, is well known to all . . .We record what is to all known, and cannot be doubted by any, that God, on the sixth day of creation, having made man from the slime of the earth, and having breathed into his face the breath of life, gave him a companion, whom He miraculously took from the side of Adam when he was locked in sleep . . . And this union of man and woman . . . even from the beginning manifested chiefly two most excellent properties . . . namely, unity and perpetuity (emphasis added) (Pope Leo XIII, Arcanum, 5).

This was the faith that had inspired St. Joseph Mukasa to put away all of his wives but one; but, increasingly, as early as the beginning of the twentieth century, what Pope Leo XIII had said “was known to all and cannot be denied by anyone” was no longer being taught to the younger generation of Catholics and would soon be denied by most of their teachers. When St. Pius X succeeded Pope Leo XIII, he lamented the accelerating eclipse of orthodoxy, identifying modernism as “the synthesis of all heresies” and “evolution” as the “principal doctrine of the modernists.”  Other heresies, he noted, had added, subtracted or distorted some part of the Deposit of Faith; but evolution-based modernism conceived of the whole world as in a state of continuous evolution and thus abandoned the very notion of immutable Truth.  On every side, he saw Catholic intellectuals rejecting scriptural inerrancy and the sacred history of Genesis on the grounds that “natural science” had proven that the Bible contained historical errors and that advances in geology and biology had proven that man had evolved from a one-celled organism through millions of years of the same kinds of natural processes he observed in the present.  Vatican One had already anathematized the proposition that “the progress of the sciences demands that the Catholic doctrine of creation be recast,” but St. Pius X saw that the ranks of Catholic intelligentsia holding that error continued to swell, so he renewed the anathema in his own name.

In 1907, in his encyclical Pascendi, St. Pius noted that, for the modernist, liturgy and doctrine had to be adapted to the changing circumstances produced by the evolutionary process.  The doctrines and liturgical traditions of the past had to give way to new expressions and practices better adapted to the current stage of evolution.  Thus, in Europe, the Faith that had formed the Ugandan martyrs began to be subverted and replaced by a counterfeit modernist religion that affirmed the right of fallible human natural science to pass judgment on the supernatural divine Revelation of God, as it had been understood in the Church from the beginning.

“The Principal Doctrine of the Modernists” and the African Holocaust

At the end of the nineteenth century, the “principal doctrine” that began to destroy the Faith from within in Europe and North America also began to physically destroy whole peoples in Africa through its true believers. As author Bill Johnson explains:

Germans, many indoctrinated in Social Darwinian ideas, colonized South West Africa (Namibia today) in the 1880s. They generally regarded the [native] Herero people as primitive and frequently referred to them as ‘subhuman’ and ‘baboons.’ According to one missionary living at that time:

The real cause of bitterness among the Hereros toward the Germans is without question the fact that the average German looks down upon the natives as being about on the same level as the higher primates (‘baboon’ being their favorite term for the natives) and treats them like animals. The settler holds that the native has a right to exist only in so far as he is useful to the white man. It follows that the whites value their horses and even their oxen more than they value the natives.

Many Germans also perpetrated inhumane acts toward the Herero: they progressively seized their land and cattle, shot people for no reason at all, sexually abused and raped the women, and because of their interest in evolutionary theory and missing links they dug up the graves of the Herero’s ancestors and stole their skulls. Not surprisingly, localized reactions to this from the Herero led to efforts to drive the Germans out of their land.

Eventually, General Lothar von Trotha was sent to Namibia to quash the rebellion and utterly destroy the Herero. Von Trotha made it abundantly clear that the decision to exterminate was based on a Darwinian worldview, “I destroy the African tribes with streams of blood and streams of money. Only following this cleansing can something new emerge, which will remain,” and in a local newspaper von Trotha made the following comment:

At the outset, we cannot do without the natives [i.e., hard labor]. But they finally have to melt away. Where the climate allows the white man to work, philanthropic views cannot banish Darwin’s law ‘survival of the fittest.”

Von Trotha and his troops didn’t even spare the native women and children. The Germans’ most effective method of annihilation was forcing the Herero into the desert and polluting the wells, causing most to die of thirst. German colonial rule succeeded in annihilating 75% of the Herero and 50% of the Nama. Before the war the Herero were 80,000 strong, and after the war only 20,000 remained. The Nama people, a southern tribe that entered the war almost a year later due to similar circumstances, were reduced from 20,000 to 10,000. The remaining Herero, as well as the Nama, were sent to concentration camps (e.g. Shark Island) where many more died due to abuse and hard labor. The body parts of these dead prisoners were used in racial studies trying to prove the inferiority of blacks . . .

Other racial studies performed in Namibia influenced racial policy in Germany for decades to come. Eugen Fischer, a geneticist and avid eugenicist, was sent to Namibia for one main purpose—to evaluate the physical characteristics and intelligence of several hundred inter-racial children and prove that inter-racial relations would be detrimental to European culture. It was Fischer’s work that led to the victimization and sterilization of blacks (and other groups) in the Third Reich.[8]

The African holocaust began in Namibia, but it swiftly spread next door to the Church in Uganda—to Tanzania.  As St. Charles Lwanga and his companions gave their lives for the Faith which had taught them that they were descended from the specially-created first parents of all mankind and had become children of God by adoption through the Blood of the Lamb, zealous believers in microbe-to-man evolution scoffed at this “unscientific” faith and subjugated huge swathes of the African continent. Bill Johnson explains:

The prime mover for Germany in East Africa in the 1880s was Carl Peters, a man whose thinking was shaped by Schopenhauer and Darwin. Peters was especially fond of Darwin and made repeated reference to him in his writings. Concerning the ‘struggle for existence’ and the implication of German expansion, Peters wrote:

Steam and electricity have built colossal bridges over which men have been moved into immediate proximity to each other. The planet already looks too small against the background of the restless roving spirit which has totally inflamed the Germanic race … The struggle for existence is more passionate than ever.

In East Africa, Peters acquired land three times the size of Germany—and as was the case in Namibia, the African’s only purpose for existence was to serve the European, “The negro is a born slave who needs his despot as the opium smoker needs his pipe”. And fellow Germans were frequently asked by Peters, “Haven’t you shot a negro yet?” Peters had a reputation as a moral monster. Even the natives called him—“Mkono-wa-damu,” or “man-with-blood-stained-hands.” Peters was known for leaving a trail of destruction wherever he went. One Danish explorer, whose expedition followed the same path as one of Peter’s expeditions, wrote:

On every side I came on traces of war. In the neighborhood of Obangi I found even villages that had been destroyed by fire, and everywhere skeletons of men, women, and children, those of women and children being especially numerous… It was almost impossible for me to procure the necessary rice for my people, for as soon as we approached the whole populace fled panic-stricken. The natives were terrified at my white face, for the last white man they had seen was Dr. Peters.

Despite his disregard for blacks, Peters possessed a harem of black women. In one case, there was suspicion that one of his women had sexual relations with a young native. Peters had the young man hung and the woman was flogged daily until her back looked like a piece of chopped meat. After a failed escape attempt the woman was hung as well. It was this incident that caused the German government to bring charges against Peters. One day after the hearing in the Reichstag, a German newspaper commented on the Peters affair:

[Germany] has found its Menelik in a German—in a ‘truly Teutonic man,’ an enraged ‘Aryan,’ who wishes to destroy all Jews, but, for a lack of Jews over there in Africa, shoots Negroes dead like sparrows and hangs Negro girls for his own pleasure after they have satisfied his desires . . .

Needless to say, such atrocities contributed to a number of uprisings by the natives. The two most significant uprisings occurred in the South—the Wahehe Rebellion (1891–1898) and the Maji Maji Rebellion (1905–1907). The Wahehe fought a long and courageous war, but finally surrendered when the leader committed suicide to avoid capture. In the Maji Maji (i.e., sacred water), many native groups were duped by their religious leaders into believing that German bullets would turn into water. The Germans fought ruthlessly. They torched the natives’ villages and food supply, causing a severe famine in the land. It has been estimated that the number of deaths from the Maji Maji Rebellion and its aftermath was 250,000—300,000.[9]

Islam and the African Slave Trade

It has been noted above that Muslim traders had established themselves in what is now Uganda before the Catholic missionaries arrived.  The main East African base for Muslim commerce located in Zanzibar was also the center of a flourishing slave trade—and this may help to explain the failure of Islam to excite much enthusiasm among the people of Buganda.  The prophet Mohammed was an enthusiastic champion of slavery, and the Koran explains in detail how Muslims can lawfully exploit and abuse the human beings they enslave.  For example, when Mohammed had already assembled a large harem, he received this revelation:

Prophet!  We [i.e. God] have made lawful for you the wives to whom you have granted dowries and the slave girls whom God has given you as booty . . . You may . . . take to your bed any of them as you please [Koran 33:50-51) . . .  [After this] it shall be unlawful for you to take more wives or to change your present wives for other women . . . unless they are slave girls whom you own [Koran 33:52].

The founder of the Society of Missionaries of Africa, Cardinal Lavigerie, received regular reports from his missionaries of the enormous number of African slaves that were trafficked from Sub-Saharan Africa for sale to Muslims in the North.  Speaking at an anti-slavery conference in 2013, the superior general of the White Fathers, recalled:

When our Founder, Cardinal Lavigerie, was bishop of Algiers in North Africa he got reports from his Missionaries working in the interior part of Africa. In them he discovered the atrocities of slavery and how the man-hunts were devastating whole villages and were going to depopulate Africa. He was already aware of the Trans-Saharan Slave-Trade in which black slaves were taken from Africa and sent to Arab countries, as domestic workers, etc. Without making a blanket condemnation of Islam, he decried the practice of discrimination that he saw among the Arabs and especially their conception of the black race. In the 1st July 1888 Conference in St Sulpice (Paris), he gave the following impressive figures:

Five hundred thousand slaves sold each year in the markets of the interior of Africa, under conditions which I have just described.

I am only talking about slaves who have been sold; added to these, according to the explorers and our Fathers, for every slave put up for sale, must be added the victims who have been massacred during the man hunts, or who have died from their sufferings and from hunger in the caravans en route to the slave markets. Some people say that for every slave sold, must be added four, five or even ten dead before arriving at the markets.

Cameron, in confirming these estimates, reports that in order to procure fifty women to be sold, one of these “tigers” destroyed nearby, ten inoffensive villages, each with a population of as many as two hundred people, and massacred all their inhabitants. If, in the other regions where these man hunts are carried out, the proportions are the same, this makes two million blacks killed or sold, each year. This means that in fifty years the interior of Africa will be completely depopulated. I am not astonished by this consequence, especially as my missionaries write that every day a slave caravan arrives at Lake Tanganyika. When my missionaries arrived ten years ago in the heavily populated Manyema region, the area was totally covered with villages and cultivated fields; today, Tipo-Tip’s slave traders have made most of this region, as big as a third of France, a sterile desert where the only traces of the former inhabitants are the bones of the dead people.

Lavigerie visited the Pope with a delegation of former slaves from North Africa at the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Priesthood of the Pope and urged the Pope on 21st May 1888 to say something also against the slavery in Africa and to do something about it.

Pope Leo XIII listened carefully and gave full mandate to Lavigerie to lead the campaign in a “brief” dated 17th October 1888. Thus began the Anti-Slavery campaign that took him to some major towns of Europe (Paris, London, Brussels, Geneva, Rome, Napoli, etc.). He gave conferences to different people in order to:

-present the facts as he had them from the Missionaries (Sisters, Brothers and Fathers) and the explorers;

-convince that something had to be done to stop it;

-raise funds;

-to get the public opinion to obtain a change of policy from their respective governments (emphasis in original)[10]

Cardinal Lavigerie based his opposition to slavery upon the Catholic doctrine of creation and the God-given dignity of all human beings, but he urged the increasingly secular leaders of Europe to oppose the slave-trade by an appeal to the natural law.

Slavery, as it is practiced in Africa, is not only, in fact, opposed to the Gospel, it is contrary to the natural law…Now the laws of nature apply not just to Christians but to all men. That is why I appeal to all, without distinction of nationality, or party, or religious confession. (emphasis in original) (Chiesa del Gesù, 23rd December 1888).[11]

While Lavigerie’s campaign against slavery met with considerable success in Europe, faith in the “principal doctrine of the modernists” continued to spread through the ranks of the intellectual elite of Europe and North America, fast becoming the new orthodoxy of the western world. As St. Pius X had foreseen in Pascendi, a world in which everything exists in a continuous state of evolution and in which the human body is the result of hundreds of millions of years of mutation and natural selection cannot logically co-exist with the notion of natural law.  Thus, the same “principal doctrine” that appeared to debunk the sacred history of Genesis simultaneously “debunked” the notion of an unchanging human nature and an immutable natural law.  Thus, what was taken away from Satan’s war on humanity with one hand—the hand of the creation-based Gospel of Jesus Christ—was given back to him with the left hand of evolution-based modernism which, as we have seen, easily rationalizes every kind of moral abomination.

Mission to Uganda

Space will not permit me to comment on the history of the Church in Uganda from the time of the martyrs until today.  What has been mentioned here suffices to set the stage for a brief account of the current situation in the homeland of the Ugandan Martyrs. On the last day of our first trip to Uganda we made a presentation to over a hundred students at Makerere University in Kampala, a secular university of over 40,000 students, and we saw first-hand that evolution-based secular humanism has already made great inroads with the Ugandan youth.  If the younger generation in Uganda is going to be preserved from the brainwashing that has afflicted most of the youth of Europe and North America, it will be through the deliberate effort of the Catholic Church and of other Christian communities in the country, exposing the errors of evolutionary mythology and establishing the true Christian doctrine of creation as the only firm foundation for a culture of life.

The summer after our first visit to Uganda, the Kolbe Center held its annual leadership retreat at Conception Seminary in Conception, Missouri, and we decided to invite a team from Uganda, including two priests, a member of parliament, and two ladies who are very involved in the pro-life movement.  The retreat equips lay Catholics from all over the world to become regional leaders in advancing the mission of the Kolbe Center, by giving them a thorough understanding of the traditional doctrine of creation from the perspective of theology, philosophy and natural science. The member of parliament told us that he and his colleagues are engaged in a pitched battle with heavily-funded foreign agents who are trying to introduce “reproductive health”—i.e. abortion, contraception and the anti-culture of death—as well as GMO agriculture into Uganda.  We gave him our booklet GMO Food: Boon or Bane and promised to offer whatever support we could. As GMO Food Boon or Bane? demonstrates, the GMO monoculture that has largely destroyed American agriculture is rooted in a false reductionist philosophy which reduces living things to a collection of replaceable parts rather than seeing them as created unities.  This reductionist philosophy goes hand in hand with a false evolutionary philosophy which sees the different kinds of living things as the result of hundreds of millions of years of mutation and natural selection rather than as the result of divine creation, marred by thousands of years of genetic degradation as a consequence of Original Sin.

After arriving in Kampala on Friday, July 30, my colleagues and I had the privilege of making a presentation to all of the priests in charge of the various departments at the Uganda Episcopal Conference as well as all of the secretariat staff.  The presentation was very well received, and we left hopeful that we would be able to work with one or more of the department heads to integrate the traditional doctrine of creation into the programs of their departments for the entire country.  After lunch, we had the privilege of meeting with the bishop in charge of all of the major seminaries throughout Uganda who expressed his wish that we give our complete seminar to all of the seminaries in the near future!

On Monday afternoon we left the main city in Uganda, Kampala, and headed west with Fr. Lucian Arinaitwe, the priest in charge of education for the Secretariat of the Uganda Episcopal Conference and Violet Mbabazi, a volunteer with Human Life Uganda.  On Tuesday, we gave a seminar at Uganda Martyrs University in Mbarara, a small city, about 180 miles from Kampala.  Fr. Peter Kanyandago, the priest in charge of the campus is a scholar with a deep interest in all kinds of things related to the right relationship between man and creation.  Fr. Peter has been trying to create a database of indigenous plants and their various uses in traditional medicine.  He has also been deeply involved in the campaign to keep GMO agriculture out of Uganda.  On Wednesday, we left Mbarrara and traveled westward to the city of Kabbale, the home diocese of Fr. Lucian Arinaitwe.  On Wednesday afternoon we had the privilege of visiting the village where Fr. Lucian grew up, near to the border between Rwanda and in Uganda, in a hilly region that is known as “the Switzerland of Africa.”

After spending the night at the pastoral center of the Kabbale Diocese, on Thursday morning we were able to meet with Bishop Callistus Rubaramira, the Ordinary of the Diocese, and his director of youth apostolate.  The Bishop was most receptive to our mission and invited us to establish a center in the diocese.  After the meeting, we went to a large high school where we were able to give our full seminar to a large gathering of teachers from all over the diocese—as well as the vicar general and several of his brother priests. During the question and answer session, many of the attendees admitted to having taught evolution in their schools and expressed their gratitude for the information Dr. Seiler had shared, proving that sound natural science confirmed the sacred history of Genesis and exposed the absurdity—indeed the impossibility—of molecules to man evolution.

On Friday we returned to Kampala by bus, a long trip of about eight hours, much of which I passed in conversation with a member of a Bible church, a graduate student in her fifth year of medical school.  It was amazing to discover that in all her years of training, she had never been told the truth about the distinctiveness of human embryonic development, or the genetic evidence that all humans are descended from one man and one woman who were created in a state of genetic perfection less than ten thousand years ago. She believed in the sacred history of Genesis, but without knowing how sound natural science confirmed her faith.  Nor had she been told that the birth control pill and several other contraceptives do not actually prevent conception but rather kill a conceived child.

When she insisted that all any Christian needs is the Bible and the Holy Spirit, I asked her to consider that the Christians of the first century all had the same Scriptures as well as the Gift of the Holy Spirit, but they could not agree on whether non-Jewish believers should be circumcised!  We looked at Acts 15 and recalled that to settle this dispute, St. Peter, the leader of the Apostles, and St. James, the first Bishop of Jerusalem, had to convene the first council in Jerusalem, and that when they handed down their decision they said, “It has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us . . .” showing that Jesus gave His divine teaching authority to St. Peter and the Apostles, and that it is necessary for all believers to recognize and obey that authority whenever it is used to define a doctrine of faith or morals.

We then considered that from the time of the Apostles until 1930, all of the Church Fathers and all of the influential Christian leaders of the entire Christian world—including Luther, Calvin et al—held that Genesis 38 recorded God’s execution of Onan for the sin of contraception, and that the Anglican community was the first Christian community in history to allow birth control to married couples at the Lambeth Conference in 1930.  She acknowledged that the Catholic Church is the only Church that upholds the same interpretation that was handed down from the Apostles in this matter of spiritual and physical life and death.  So, I asked her, if all that a Christian needs is the Bible and the Holy Spirit, how could the whole Catholic and non-Catholic Christian world interpret Genesis 38 as teaching that contraception is a deadly sin for nineteen hundred years—and then adopt a totally contradictory interpretation in the last one hundred years?  Doesn’t this prove, I asked her, that we need to respect the teaching authority of the Church that Jesus established when it defines doctrine, to insure that we “hold fast” to the “faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3)?

When we finally arrived at the bus station in Kampala, we waited for a while in a waiting area which also served as the dispatch center for a taxi service.  To my surprise, a woman who appeared to be one of the managers of the taxi service stood up with a Bible in one hand and a microphone in the other and began to preach the Gospel. Such displays of faith, albeit misguided, offer a joyful contrast to the godlessness of European culture. That night, as I lay in bed in my hotel room, a loud Gospel service in a nearby church went on until four or five in the morning.

The Faith of a Mustard Seed

After arriving in Kampala on our most recent trip to Uganda, we met a young man who was applying for a job at the hotel where we were staying.  He belonged to a Bible church, one of many such churches and “miracle service” centers that have sprung up all over the country.  Quite a few Catholic young people have left the Church to join them.  In defense of these young people, our experience has been that the people who belong to these communities do not understand the irrationality of their sola scriptura theology and have not met Catholics who can explain this to them simply and clearly.  The young job-hunter painted a bleak picture of job prospects for young people who graduate with the equivalent of a high school diploma or a university degree, noting that the most successful of his friends were young men who did not go on to higher education but who started some kind of shop or small business which they were able to grow.

When our conversation turned to the Bible, I invited the young man to reflect on the crisis described in Acts 15, when the first Christians had the same Scriptures but could not agree on how to interpret them in regard to the circumcision of Gentile believers.  I then cited the account of Onan in Genesis 38 as an example of a Scripture that was understood to condemn contraception as an intrinsic evil for nineteen hundred years by all of the Popes, Church Fathers, and Doctors of the Church, as well as by all of the principal protestant leaders, including Martin Luther, John Calvin and John Wesley—until the Anglicans became the first Christian community in the history of Christianity to allow birth control to married couples in 1930.

I pointed out that the correct interpretation of Genesis 38 is a matter of spiritual and physical life and death for hundreds of millions of people, as the acceptance of contraception by virtually all non-Catholic Christian communities is contributing to the greatest slaughter of human beings in the history of the world, as at least five times as many little babies are murdered in their mother’s wombs by various kinds of so-called “birth control”—not just the birth control pill!—that do not actually prevent conception but prevent a living child from thriving and surviving in her mother’s womb—as are murdered by surgical abortion.  Thus, our Heavenly Father must look down on a world where over a quarter of a billion innocent children are murdered in their mother’s wombs every year because of man’s abandonment of the true Gospel teaching, preserved only in the Catholic Church, based on the correct interpretation of Genesis 38.  It is apparent that these simple arguments carried a lot of weight with our young friend, and we were able to connect him with some fervent local Catholic lay leaders who will hopefully help to bring him the rest of the way into the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.

The day after our arrival in Kampala, Fr. Wazi Wazi Gonzaga took us to Soroti in the eastern part of the country.  Fr. Gonzaga now serves as the Chancellor of the Diocese of Soroti, but at that time he taught at the minor seminary in Soroti and was in charge of youth ministry for the Soroti Diocese.  He also had a deliverance ministry that took him to all parts of the country and even beyond the borders of Uganda.  I will have more to say about that later in this article.  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 throngs.  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 to long homilies, catecheses, and spiritual conferences.   Holy Masses lasted about two hours with much prolonged, whole-hearted and beautiful singing.

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On the night set aside for Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Eucharistic Adoration, many in the audience began to manifest signs of demonic possession and had to be carried by strong men to the back of the throng where they cried and writhed violently for a long time under the watchful eyes of volunteers who prevented them from hurting themselves or other people.  Fr. Gonzaga is renowned in the whole country for his deliverance ministry, and he has proven by long experience that no demon can withstand the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.   On this particular evening, the power failed, so he had to repose the Blessed Sacrament earlier than he had planned.  Many of those who were possessed or agitated by demons wailed and cried for a long time, until at last silence descended on the grounds.  One of the catechists explained that the main causes of demonic possession or active influence on the tormented youth, almost all of whom were young women, are abortion, witchcraft, and the seeking after material baubles that have been cursed in some way–a common affliction among girls who have been bombarded with images of wealthy western women and Hollywood movie stars.

During the conference, Greg, Thomas and I had many opportunities to speak to catechists, community leaders and to the whole assembly about creation and evolution as well as the Church’s teaching on holy marriage and the family.  For decades the entire country 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 learned 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.  For the last two years, the Kolbe Center has co-sponsored a medical mission to provide free medical care to these women and to others who desperately need medical treatment for various ailments.  (If anyone reading this article would be willing to volunteer for a medical mission, please let me know as soon as possible so that we can plan accordingly.)

Many of the thousands who attended the youth conference have parents who grew up in refugee camps as a consequence of continual warfare between two branches of a tribe of cattle herders in the northern part of the country, one of which opted to abandon cattle rustling for a settled existence and so incurred the enmity of the other branch.  With Rosaries supplied by benefactors in 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 the peace.  Nor was the war that God had permitted without its wholesome effects.  As Fr. Gonzaga observed, the years of insecurity and the continual threat of violence taught the people to rely completely on God.  This attitude manifested in a willingness on the part of 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 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, but on every side one sees the forces of evil conspiring to destroy the faith of the people.  One of the most disturbing signs of corrupting influence was the number of articles we found in local Church publications praising Teilhard de Chardin or some kind of theistic evolutionary theology.  Now that evolution-based modernism has almost completely destroyed the Faith in Europe and North America, western Bishops recruit priests from Uganda and other parts of Africa, offering them scholarships to receive advanced degrees at modernist Catholic universities while giving them the care of parishes rendered priest-less by generations of modernist indoctrination in Catholic schools and seminaries.  Meanwhile, as a result of the priest shortage in Uganda, the vast majority of Catholics are only 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 Europe and North America who are being served by so many priests from Uganda and other parts of Africa.  Moreover, without an immediate, organized effort to give Ugandan seminarians an orthodox Catholic formation, the modernist indoctrination of Ugandan priests in Europe, Australia, and North America will inevitably result in the same miseducation of the future priests and lay leaders in Uganda that has all but destroyed the Faith in the so-called “developed” world.

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Hoping Against Hope

Many of the priests and lay leaders we met in Uganda see the signs of the times and recognize the necessity of rejecting evolution-based modernism and restoring the true teaching of the Church on creation as the foundation of the Faith. One seminary professor described evolution as

a move of the devil to destroy our belief in the existence and power of God. The devil is doing this by first destroying our belief in creation, then our belief in God will crumble and fall by itself. Our Church in Africa is still innocent, but we need to help build a bulwark against any form of evolution be it theistic or atheistic. We need to do this in schools, because all secondary schools [teach] evolution in Biology. I was taught about it too while still at high school. I will be ready to work with you to build this foundation. We love our Creator and His method of creating keeps us much closer to Him than this . . . erroneous . . . evolution.

For his part, one pro-life leader affirmed his intent:

To expose that theistic evolution is false, a heresy of modernism, contrary to science, and a blasphemy of God by which His character is impugned; a challenge to the trustworthiness of the Incarnate Word, Who has revealed Himself by means of the oral Word and the written Word, both of which attest to the fact of fiat Creation;

A young woman, a university graduate, highlighted the importance of the traditional doctrine of creation for the defense of Holy Marriage and to reverse the destructive influences of the West on African society:

Linking Holy Marriage to the special creation of Adam and Eve teaches us that indeed marriage is an ultimate act of God and NOT a human idea that can easily be made and broken at any time . . .  Divorce has become so common especially here in Uganda. With the so called human rights and [women’s] emancipation, everyone feels they have a right to this and that. Women are no longer submissive to their husbands and men too are not playing their role of being protectors in their homes. The marriage institution has lost meaning to some. Marrieds feel their problems can easily be solved in Court. It is like people get married to divorce.

Yet another pro-life leader, a young lawyer, told me that he has spoken of the importance of upholding the truth of the sacred history of Genesis at various conferences he has attended, with teachers and with other lay leaders.  He tells me that the teachers, catechists, and other serious Catholics that he speaks to on this topic are always receptive and eager to learn how to defend the sacred history of Genesis to their young people.  This is totally different from the norm in the United States, Europe, and Australia, even among traditional Catholic clergy and laity, where the usual response to any defense of the traditional doctrine of creation is opposition and ridicule, mixed with accusations of “fundamentalism” and absurdly confident appeals to radiometric dating and other alleged “proofs” of microbe-to-man evolution.[12]

While it is heartening to see the fervent faith of St. Charles Lwanga and his companions alive and well in the souls of so many clergy and lay faithful in Uganda, in our common ongoing struggle to destroy the anti-culture of death and build a culture of life, we are already faced with a humanly hopeless situation.  A Comboni Missionary who has spent many years in the northern part of the country expressed the challenge this way:

Youth has become one of the greatest pastoral problems in the diocese. The majority of priests do not know what to do to attract them to the church. There is a youth Centre in Ediofe, well built and organized with offices, but the director finds difficult to sensitize and mobilize youth at parish levels. True they have catechists at their villages, but these good men have no more the authority of former times. The qualifications that catechists have are not enough to make them cope with the expectations of the youth, who slowly by slowly desert the Sunday service and lose faith. As years pass, the picture changes. Indifferentism is invading all the corners of the society. Money attracts more than religion. Dances and the influence of the West change the attitude of the youth. Drugs are circulating in the schools and markets.[13]

The beauty of this humanly hopeless situation is that by the grace of God we have identified the root of the anti-Christian world-view that has destroyed the faith of most of our young people and which now threatens to destroy the faith of the young people of Africa as well.  Having identified it, in Uganda we can actually expose it and destroy it, thus restoring the credibility of the true Faith in the eyes of the youth and setting them free from the moral and intellectual slavery that holds most of their peers in the so-called “developed” world in bondage.

With the help of your prayers, good readers, and through the prayers of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs and the Martyrs of Uganda, it will be possible to restore the foundations of the Faith in Uganda and to build a genuine culture of life.  But it will not stop there.  The members of a renewed and restored Church will be compelled to mission by the grace of God, just as the first baptized Catholics of Uganda began immediately and effectively to evangelize.  Indeed, by the grace of God, the young Catholics of Uganda will play a major part in the future evangelization of the entire world.

Hugh Owen

 

(This article was originally published in a slightly different version in the journal Culture Wars.)

 

References

[1] Fr. J. F. Faupel, African Holcaust (New York: P. J. Kennedy and Sons, 1962), pp. 30-31.

[2] Brother A. Tarcis Nsobya, The Ugandan Martyrs Are Our Light (Marianum Press, 2006), p. 71.

[3] Nsobya, op. cit., pp. 62-63.

[4] Nsobya, op. cit., p. 71.

[5] Faupel, p. 193.

[6] Faupel, p. 197.

[7] Fr. Toni La Salandra, The History of the Catholic Church in West Nile, pp. 12-13

[8] Bill Johnson, “German Imperialism and the African Holocaust” (Creation Ministries International, 11-28-13)

[9] ibid.

[10] Fr. Richard Baawobr, “125th Anniversary of the Anti-Slavery Campaign of Cardinal Lavigerie Charles (1888- 2013)”  Anti-Slavery Conference at EMU (2/28/2013)

[11] ibid.

[12] For a brief review of the overwhelming evidence against molecules-to-man evolution in its theistic and atheistic forms, see the articles on theology, philosophy, and natural science on the Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation website.

[13] La Salandra, p. 128.

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