Pope condemns domestic violence, tells Kenyans to shun materialism


Pope Francis spoke strongly against domestic violence and called on Kenyan men to “resist practices which foster arrogance”.

The pontiff also called for strengthening of family values.

He emphasised Catholic teachings against abortion, which is outlawed in Kenya, except under special medical circumstances.

In a message reminiscent of US President Barack Obama’s condemnation of domestic violence during his July visit, the Pope said violence against women needs to be dealt with.

“In obedience to God’s word, we are called to resist practices which hurt or demean women and threaten the life of the unborn,” he said during a Mass at the University of Nairobi on Thursday.

The head of the Catholic Church also spoke against rampant materialism and greed that have often fuelled corruption such that Kenya makes international headlines.

“We are seeing the growth of new deserts created by a culture of materialism and indifference to others. Christian families have this special mission: To radiate God’s love and spread the life-giving waters of his Spirit,” he said.

Thousands filled Nairobi streets from as early as 3am despite the nightlong rains in the city.

They streamed to the venue singing and braving the rain in readiness for the mass.

The pontiff also spoke about the youth and why society needed to invest in them.

In his homily, he recognised the fact that the Mass was being held at a university, where minds of many young people are shaped.

Pope Francis told Kenyans not to neglect the less privileged. He has earned a reputation for reaching out and speaking up for the poor.

Archbishop John Cardinal Njue expressed deep gratitude to Pope Francis for visiting Kenya and conducting the mass.

“We are indebted to you for your visit here has been a source of strength and spiritual nourishment” said Cardinal Njue.

He thanked President Kenyatta for ensuring the success of the Pope’s visit and constantly monitoring preparations for the pontiff.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and former President Mwai Kibaki joined the Catholic faithful in celebrating the Mass at the university’s graduation square.