Bishops Raise Concerns Regarding Proliferation of DNA Tests

Left to right: Bishop John Mbinda from the Catholic Diocese of Lodwar in Turkana County, Kenya, Gulu Archbishop John Baptist Odama, Horizont 3000 regional director Solomon Mbubi, Horizont 3000 managing director Erwin Eder, and Dr Katja Kerschbaumer, the head of office at the Austrian Embassy shortly after signing the MoU in Kampala yesterday. PHOTO/MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI.

Prominent Catholic Bishops from Uganda and Kenya have expressed concern over the growing demand for DNA tests among believers, considering it a symptom of moral decay. However, they have urged those involved in such disputes to change their approach and embrace forgiveness.

Bishop John Mbinda, representing the Catholic Diocese of Lodwar in Turkana County, Kenya, emphasized the importance of faithfulness within Christian values, particularly in the context of marital relationships. He believes that the widespread demand for DNA tests serves as a wake-up call for faithfulness in marriage.

Bishop Mbinda shared his thoughts during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a solar project named the Solar Pledge East Africa program. The event took place in Kampala and involved the Catholic Dioceses of Gulu in Uganda and Lodwar in Kenya, along with the Austrian Organization for Development (Horizont 3000). He stressed that individuals resorting to DNA tests should conduct them with the intention of safeguarding the family. Moreover, he encouraged adherence to legal regulations set by governments to ensure accurate and reliable results.

“It is crucial to protect all families. People may make mistakes, but a single error should not lead to the dissolution and abandonment of an entire family. Forgiveness is key. Christ taught us to forgive not just seven times, but seventy times seven,” Bishop Mbinda asserted.

He further emphasized the need for proper preparation to deal with the outcomes of DNA tests. This preparation should be rooted in faith principles, accountability, forgiveness, and understanding, enabling couples to move forward with support and guidance.

During the same occasion, Gulu Archbishop John Baptist Odama voiced his concerns about the increasing prevalence of DNA tests, attributing it to a decline in moral values within Uganda. Archbishop Odama expressed disappointment that couples are resorting to scientific methods to determine the parentage of their children when such issues could be avoided by maintaining faithfulness in marriage.

“As the frequency of these tests rises, it becomes evident that our moral fabric is deteriorating. The word of God should prevail. God has clearly defined moral behavior. Young men and women should maintain their integrity before marriage. Once married, they should remain committed to their partners until death separates them,” Archbishop Odama asserted.

Archbishop Odama called upon the faithful to strengthen their relationship with God and abstain from actions that could harm their health, family, children, and reputation. In a recent development, the government, represented by the police, appealed to the public to refrain from recording or sharing information regarding children who have undergone DNA tests. This request is particularly relevant when the test results indicate a negative relationship, as such actions can violate children’s rights and potentially have long-term psychological consequences.

Overall, the Catholic Bishops acknowledge the rising demand for DNA tests among their congregations but stress the importance of fidelity and forgiveness within marital relationships. They advocate for a renewed focus on faith principles and moral values to address the underlying issues contributing to the need for these tests.

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