NAIROBI, Kenya (ChurchMilitant.com) - A recent report by The Lepanto Institute and subsequent correspondence suggest that somebody involved with the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has used the conference to promote condoms in contradiction to the teachings of the faithful Kenyan bishops.
The KCCB's Catholic Health Commission of Kenya (CHCK) released a letter endorsing condom use for preventing the spread of disease, a position that contradicts the KCCB bishops' consistent condemnation of condom use for any reason.
Church Militant asked Jesuit Br. Elias Mokua, the KCCB's national executive secretary for the Commission for Social Communication, about the letter.
He responded: "Please ignore the message as it is an example of fake news!"
Church Militant spoke with Michael Hichborn, president of The Lepanto Institute (LI), about subsequent correspondence based on LI's report.
"Following the publication of our article, I was contacted by Bp. Paul Kariuki Njiru, the local ordinary for the diocese of Embu, Kenya," he said. "His Excellency explained that the letter we had obtained was the 'wrong version' of the letter, providing a corrected version dated the same day."
After thanking the bishop for providing the corrected version of the letter, Hichborn followed up with some additional questions:
I asked how it was that such a letter was generated with condom promotion in it to begin with. I also asked how it was that this version was circulated, apparently without the KCCB's knowledge. I asked who wrote the original version of the letter, and I asked why Jacinta Mutegi, the executive secretary for the Catholic Health Commission of Kenya, is in leadership positions in at least two organizations that are thoroughly committed to the spread of condoms.
Jacinta Mutegi, the executive secretary of the CHCK, is one of the signatories on the "wrong version" of the letter.
Mutegi serves in leadership roles with two agencies that promote the spread of condoms, as listed on her LinkedIn profile, and may have been the one responsible for the promotion of condoms in the letter, according to Hichborn.
She is a member of the board for the National AIDS Control Council (NACC) and a member of the Global Fund's Kenya Coordinating Mechanism (KCM). Both the NACC and the KCM promote the use and spread of condoms. The NACC even posted a graphic video showing how to put on a condom.
Hichborn says that after the letter promoting condoms was distributed, teachers began complaining about it in WhatsApp groups.
Contacts also told Hichborn that Catholic doctors in Kenya have seen the letter and expressed their opposition, which is consistent with their stance against HPV that has aired on TV in the country.
If she is the responsible party, Mutegi, who is neither a medical doctor nor a health care professional, has ignored the Catholic doctors' medical advice as well as subverted Kenya's faithful Catholic bishops.
Hichborn explained how the idea of a "wrong version" of the letter seems to support his initial hypothesis in the report:
The acknowledgement that a "wrong version" of this letter existed to begin with, combined with the fact that it was indeed circulated beyond the basic editing and approval process, seems to corroborate the hypothesis I established in the report: the promotion of condoms in the "wrong version" of the letter very likely was included without the bishops' knowledge or approval.
This situation in Kenya is representative of a pattern, as Hichborn explained: "As I have maintained throughout the majority of my work regarding the deeply concerning pattern of contraception and condom promotion within the Catholic Church, the biggest issue has to do with ideological bureaucrats operating within chanceries and bishops' conferences. And once again, this case appears to be no different."