Why new Archbishop Kambanda’s dedication for successful marriages, families is applaudable

By The Inspirer staff

The new Catholic Church Archbishop Antoine Kambanda has committed to a purpose that might seem ordinary for some, but is crucial indeed: achieving successful and harmonious families in the Rwandan community.

In fact, there is an increase in breakup of Rwandan families, especially as a result of divorce of married couples, which, Kambanda said is threatening the future of Rwandan society at large.

The number of people seeking divorce in court has been increasing sharply, moving from 21 divorces in 2016, to 69 in 2017, and 1,311 cases in 2018, according to statistics from the Supreme Court, meaning that the cases increased by 1900%.

The Supreme Court revealed the alarming situation in its report during a press conference last Friday, ahead of the 2018 Judicial Week.

While speaking to the media, Chief Justice, Prof. Sam Rugege said that sometimes mediation is used to help reconcile couples, but, expressed concerns that there are instances where conflicts are too severe such that divorce is the only possible option.

“The numbers of divorce  has been growing. We try to use values and culture in an attempt to amicably med these relationships but sometimes it doesn’t work. There should be a way of tracking and supporting families when the relationship seem to deteriorate so that it doesn’t end up into divorce or murder,” he said.

And, what is worse, Archbishop Kambanda said, is that children, who are the most vulnerable element of the family, are bearing the brunt of the problem: they are experiencing dire moments of bad relations between their parents, a situation which they cannot be able to bear.

The children are growing up in such a situation, which is deprived of good education and role model, some getting indulged in drug abuse as a last resort, which shatter their hope for a better future.
The root cause of the weakening families or marriages is lack of true love and union resulting from mere sentiment or feelings between young partners: some are much driven by property (they are materialists) and seek quick marriages with their wealthy partner, while others have some instant love feelings but which they, perhaps, don’t have no idea that won’t last.
And, as a result, they jump into marriage after few days of meeting their partner.
What happens is that the couple that was formed on unstable foundation during betrothal –  the period of time between a marriage proposal and a marriage (also called dating), end up having no secure future, rather getting bound to fail.
So, what does the Archbishop envisages doing to change the status quo?
Priest for about 28 years and bishop for about 5 Yeats, Mbanda was appointed archbishop by Pope Francis earlier last month, replacing Monsignor Thadée Ntihinyurwa, 76, on that top catholic church position in the country.
The archbishop in Rwanda is in charge of about 10 dioceses, with each having a bishop. One of them is archdiocese of Kigali, as metropolitan, which the archbishop leads.

“I want that the new evangelisation starts from family. Family is the basic, domestic church, and that is where gospel and education should start so that children grow being trained in Christianity and its values. This requires preparing homes and taking care of them,” he said.

Preparing families, he said, means taking care of the youth who will soon have their own homes, explaining that home should be well developed whereby young girls and boys know each other, and have enough time to plan their marriage.

“They should not build on mere sentiments or feelings; rather, they should build on true love free from selfishness,” he observed, stressing that “Nothing hurts than finding out that your friend lied to you.”

Highlighting the importance of dialogue and communication in family building, the high rank catholic clergyman said “Patience is important in life, and it is through it that happiness is born, and it is in it that the true love proves itself.”

Yesterday, the Parliament and government institutions including the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, Gender Monitoring Office, Ministry of Local Government, among others convened to discuss the pressing issues adversely affecting Rwandan society, such as conflicts in families, divorce, teenage pregnancies, and drug abuse especially among the youth.

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Elias Hakizimana

Elias Hakizimana, CEO&Founder of The Inspirer Ltd,(www.rwandainspirer.com) is a professional Rwandan Journalist with Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, received from University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in 2014. He served various media houses in Rwanda including Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) in 2013 and became passionate with English Online and Print Media Publications where he exercised his talent as a Freelance News Reporter for The New Times, The Independent, The Rwanda Focus, Panorama and more before he became a Self-Entrepreneur as the CEO and Founder of The Inspirer Limited in early 2017.

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