11 Bishops and more than 70 Priests drawn from the Catholic Dioceses of Kenya and Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) have been empowered to be more pastoral in administering the sacrament of penance during this extraordinary year of mercy.
The empowerment programme took place during the Seminar on the works of the Apostolic Penitentiary (one of the Apostolic Tribunals whose competency is limited to the internal forum and granting of indulgences) held at Donum Dei spiritual Centre, Nairobi from 12th – 15th, September, 2016
The seminar was conducted by Regent of Apostolic Penitentiary H.E. Msgr. Krzysztof Nykiel and official of Apostolic Penitentiary Rev. Fr. Dr. Robert Lezohupski OFMConv from Vatican where Bishops and Priests were enlightened on how to be prepared to effectively be witnesses and servants of Gods mercy in administering the sacrament of penance to God’s people so that each one in this year mercy may open up to be transformed, converted and come closer to Jesus and church and to experience peace with God and with each other.
In an interview with Waumini News Today, the Vice Chairman of The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) and the Chairman of Canon Law National Office Rt. Rev. John Oballa Owaa, it was very important for pastors to reflect on the apostolic penitentiary that grants dispensation and absolution of certain sins that are reserved, adding that, it was in line with the spirit of Amoris Laetitia (joy of love) on how pastors consciously and consistently give care to people of God.
“There are those who feel abandoned and neglected by the church on account of their state of life, those who are divorced, living in other unions, those who cannot receive Holy Communion for one reason or another, they should feel part and parcel of the family despite the challenges and spiritual difficulties that they face.” Bishop Oballa said.
Bishop Oballa added that, the more priests realize and contemplate on the ministry and mystery of Gods mercy, the more they will be available, attentive and welcoming to Gods people.
He expressed gratitude to the Vatican officials for conducting the seminar in Kenya being the first time in Africa.
By Rose Achiego