April 12, 2012
Uganda: Bishop Against Circumcision
By Chris Mugasha
The Bishop of West Ankole diocese Rt. Rev. Yona Katoneene has appealed to the ministry of health to fund activities that aim at behavioral change in society.
He criticized the ministry saying a lot of money has been put into the campaign to promote safe male circumcision instead of devoting such funds to promoting messages of behavioral change especially among the youth.
Katoneene said if such money was used to support the youth groups to purchase bicycles to move from house-to-house and sensitise their fellow youth about abstinence and dangers of HIV/AIDS, the spread of the scourge would be contained.
Katoneene recalled that President Yoweri Museveni's message of abstinence [faithfulness and condoms] had created a positive impact in containing the scourge.
He also asked the ministry of health facilitate the clergy to spread the messages of abstinence, faithfulness among couples and behavioral change. [And condoms.]
Katoneene was on Thursday preaching during a special service for the clergy in the diocese where all the priests renewed their priestly vows.
Describing the ministry's approach as shooting off side, Katoneene also noted that the message of safe male circumcision was poorly packaged.
"After circumcision some people think that it is a ticket for one to engage in [unprotected] sex and this is likely to worsen the spread of HIV/AIDS in communities," Katoneene said.
He said people who have been fearing to engage in sexual acts because of HIV/AIDS have now been lured to circumcise and join the wagon.
Katoneene explained that as church, if circumcision was being encouraged for other health reasons they would not be having any problem with it but promoting it on the basis that it will minimize the spread of HIV/AIDS is encouraging people to engage in immoral activities....