Here is a cut from a talk presented during the Day of Sanctification for all the priests of the Diocese when they converged with the Bishop of Kumbo at the Pastoral Centre Kumbo. Fr Joseph Dufe was a participant and he deems it an Easter gift to all.

Therefore the Talk shall be presented exactly as he shared himself. I strongly believe that what might have pushed him to share this Great Gift today is the controversy over the prophecy of T.B Joshua who some 7 weeks ago predicted the death of an African President...The recent passing away of the Malawian president Bingu wa Mutharika age 78 barely 5days to clock his predicted 8 weeks has sparked debate amongst the faithful who are divided in ideas as those who do not believe in T.B Joshua call it mere speculations while his followers strongly believe in him.

This paper to me is an eye opener that expands on who a prophet is and how a prophet should act and behave. Before presenting this paper, i stand to strongly believe that a prophet to me is simply one who spreads the word of God and has the ability to interpret the word of God correctly, not for his own greatness and self glorification, but for the sake of the Kingdom of God. He must not perform miracles to be called a prophet but must be true to his words and deeds...

We all know that the word prophet in religion means an advocate from the Greek , "a prophet, from the Greek word προφήτης (profétés) meaning "advocate", while in Hebrew is it "Navi" meaning a "Spokesman". Free Online dictionary defines a prophet as an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and to speak for them, serving as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people. The message that the prophet conveys is called a prophecy.

It should be noted that claims of prophets already existed through History in many cultures. These include Judaism, Christianity, Islam, the Sybilline and the Pythia, known as the Oracle of Delphi, in Ancient Greece, Zoroaster, the Völuspá in Old Norse and many others. Traditionally, prophets are regarded as having a role in society that promotes change due to their messages and actions.

Brimelow and Rushe, Dominic state that in the late 20th century the appellation of "prophet" has been used to refer to individuals particularly successful at analysis in the field of economics, such as in the derogatory "prophet of greed".

Alternatively, social commentators who suggest escalating crisis are often called "prophets of doom."Peter Brimelow, MarketWatch & Rushe, Dominic

Here we go with the paper and Thanks to Father Dufe Joseph Alias Fara Wo Milan of the Capuchin order for this Easter Gift. It will go a long way to clarify lots of doubts if not all. The paper may be too long, get time to read or you can read in bits.
Happy Easter to you all.
Shey Tatah Wo Scandy

Called to be Prophets
By Rev Fr Joseph Dufe
In the Bible the fact of a ministry is clearly recorded. In the OT the ministry consists chiefly of two orders or classes of men – the priests and the prophets – each with its own sphere more or less clearly defined, and with a work of great importance and absolute necessity, because of divine appointment.
The essence of the OT priesthood was the representation of man to God; the essence of the prophetic office was the representation of God to man. Anything else done by a priest or prophet was accidental and additional, and not a necessary part of his office. The essential work of the priest was expressed in sacrifice and intercession and, may be, summed up in the word mediator. The essential work of the prophet was expressed in revelation and instruction and, may be, summed up in the word ambassador. The priesthood meant propitiation and the prophetic office meant revelation. The priest was concerned with the way of man to God; the prophet with the will of God to man. The two offices were thus complementary, and together they fulfilled the requirements of the relationship between God and man.

The present day challenges that we encounter in our prophetic ministry do not admit of an easy solution. However, notwithstanding our limitations and weaknesses, personal witness and teaching of sound Christian doctrine is the only way to deepen the faith of our Christians and to help them remain faithful to their Church beliefs, doctrines and practices in our times marked by so many challenges to the faith.[1]

By our calling we have been consecrated kings, priests and prophets. Who does not want to be a king! We all fight to be one.

As for being priest, we have no other option from the day hands were laid on us and we were anointed with the Holy Chrism. So we cannot escape. But as for our prophetic mission, the challenge is glaringly before us because of the enormity and exigency of the prophetic mission. The task that has been presented to the priests of Nkar Deanery, is meant to help us see in our present time, how our being priests is or is not complementary to our prophetic calling. During our Day of Sanctification, each individual priest is invited to renew his prophetic call so that as we enter the new century of our faith, we do so with renewed vigour.

1.1 Definition a prophet
Many people today think of a prophet as any person who sees the future. While the gift of prophecy certainly includes the ability to see the future, a prophet is far more than just a person with that ability.
A prophet is an individual obligated with the responsibility of being a messenger from a Divine source with the purpose of initiating social change.

A prophet is basically a spokesman for God, a person chosen by God to speak to people on God’s behalf and convey a message or teaching. In the Old Testament, prophets were role models of holiness, scholarship and closeness to God. They set the standards for the entire community and acted as the conscience of society. A prophet is a person who does not allow a means to become an end, the outward forms to be pursued and served for their own sake. He constantly reminds us that the real truth of the present lies in the future and at a higher level. He fiercely points to the spirit that lies behind every shape of the letter. Prophets belong to their time and they appear when they are needed; when the community has forgotten its calling and has somehow become fixed or self-satisfied and so unable to carry out its mission.

Prophets do not seek the gift of prophecy, and they often lack motivation to fulfill its obligation; they seek no reward for the delivery of the message, indeed facing persecution, incarceration and execution in the process. Most often, prophets try at all cost to argue against their mission, yet they have no other option because of the strong grip the prophetic call has on them.
This aspect of passive receiving of the gift of prophecy by an otherwise often unremarkable person, differentiates prophets from other phenomena and activities sometimes confused with prophecy. In these other cases, often wrongly claimed to be prophetic activities, the individual actively participates on professional basis, and in a consultative, usually rewarded performance of divination (including use of oracles), premonition, interpretation of dreams or fortune telling sometimes through the medium of an animal, in providing sought-for information which by an individual or a group, often through use of specific objects, sites or points in time. Such practices are found in many cultures.

According to some views, prophecy is not a gift that is arbitrarily conferred upon people; rather, it is the culmination of a person’s spiritual and ethical development. When a person reaches a sufficient level of spiritual and ethical achievement, the Divine Spirit comes to rest upon him or her. Likewise, the gift of prophecy leaves the person if that person lapses from his or her spiritual and ethical perfection.

By default the prophet exists within a system of faith in the Divine that bestows the gift of prophecy. In Abrahamic religion, a prophet is seen as a person who is encountered by, and speaks as a formal representative of, the One God without regard to his or her position in society, age, willingness to accept the message, place or time of the initial contact, or intended place or group of its delivery. The mission of the prophets is thus “akin to the mission of liberation theology which focuses on the social, political and economic dimensions of liberation”.[2] The intention of the message is always to effect a social (or religious) change to conform to God’s desired standards initially specified in the Torah dictated to Moses.
It is said that Moses, the greatest of the prophets, saw all that all of the other prophets combined saw, and even more. Moses saw the whole of the Torah, including the Prophets and the Writings that were written hundreds of years later. All subsequent prophecy was thus merely an expression of what Moses had already seen. Thus, it is taught that nothing in the Prophets or the Writings can be in conflict with Moses’ writings, because Moses saw it all in advance. The Hebrew Scripture identifies 55 prophets of Israel.[3]

1.2 The Biblical Prophets
With this basic knowledge, we can now speak of the biblical prophets and prophetic communities which arose whenever Israel became untrue to its calling. On closer view, one would discover that Jesus and the early Church were firmly rooted in the prophetic tradition. Their mission was the fulfillment of the calling of Israel in a new covenant. As soon as the Church started merging with the prevailing social structures, the prophetic vocation started becoming all the more necessary, even in the young Churches. For example, in 325, under the emperor Constantine, Christianity became the religion of the State. As a result of this turning point, people arose to take over the task of the prophets. Christians who understood the dangers inherent in this change organized themselves according to the model of the early Church.

In our discussions we would be invited to try to see the link between prophets and priesthood. Of course, we cannot and must not derive the priesthood from individual passages of Scripture. This however, does not mean that it has no Biblical basis at all. Its roots lie much more deeply in Biblical Tradition. It ultimately goes back to the prophetic movement in Israel, though with some distinction. “There was no priesthood in the time of the patriarchs; acts of public worship (especially sacrifice, the central act) were performed by the head of the family…The priesthood properly so called did not appear until the social organization of the community had developed considerably; then certain members of the community were entrusted with the special tasks of looking after the sanctuaries and of performing rites which were becoming ever more and more complicated”.[4]

In fact, as time went on, in the Old Testament, there started to be a distinction in duties; priests had as duty, bringing people to God through rituals while the prophet strictly speaking had as duty brining God to people, though in both cases they met somewhere on the way. Their meeting point was not a bypass but a point of focus where God and man became friends. This experienced its high point in Jesus and His disciples and later received its earthly continuation in the ministerial priesthood which is found within the Church.
In order to understand the profession of a prophet, one has to understand the calling of Israel: “Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation”.[5] In this central text one can distinguish two sides in prophecy:
On God’s side there is only one element: grace, election and calling. God wants to be what His name promises, i.e., Yahweh-creating and saving presence. His people shall never be alone.

On the side of humanity there are four elements: listening, keeping the covenant, being priest and being holy.
If the people of God are not a listening people, if they are not continually sensitive to the call of God, then they are not a people any more. The Hebrew word for “to hear, to listen” is Shamah. It is also the word for “to obey” or “to answer.” What makes them the “people of God” is, above all, openness towards God and time spent in hearing what the voice of God is saying here and now. After listening, then the people were expected to keep the covenant.
The Hebrew word for Covenant, berith, does not translate very easily. St. Paul severally tried to express it for his time with word diatheke, or testament. It expresses the deep mystery of the relationship we have with God and with each other. But how can one put into words the inexpressible, how can one put into words the deepest mysteries of life? Throughout the Hebrew Testament there were many efforts to find analogies. Hosea compares the relationship between God and humanity to that loving relationship between husband and wife. Two people decide to share life together, not only in the intimacy of sexuality, which celebrates their love, but in the totality of their life together. Realising that even this analogy cannot capture the meaning of God’s Covenant, Hosea uses another image and compares it to the love of parents for a child.[6]

The Israelites, like ourselves, had to search constantly and to discover anew what it meant to be God’s people. We too may not be able to explain fully what it means to belong to a people in a community in God’s covenant. Yet, we, as they did, can strive to find ways to celebrate and live out that bond so that others will be led to wonder why we are what we are, and begin to question their own lives. We are a priestly people.

1.3 Individual Prophets

Again and again great individual personalities arise who call out the people with a prophetic voice. We generally associate, incorrectly, this prophetic call with the words they use, their preaching. However before the prophets open their mouths, they preach with their lives. The message will not be credible, if the prophets’ life-style were not a mirror in which one could recognize the message. The real message of the prophets is thus mirrored in an intense, day-to-day living of the covenanted life. Over and beyond this, God calls upon the prophets to perform or to omit certain actions so as to challenge the people. Hosea shows his grieving, broken heart at the infidelity of his beloved wife. He gives his children names that would make the people sit up and take notice: “Lo-ruhama” (love has disappeared) and “Lo-ami” (covenant is broken). This is a real challenge thrown down before the people to make them think about their relationship with God.[7]

1.4 Prophetic Communities
There are also prophetic communities who, through their communal life and life style are prophetic witnesses. Thus the Disciples of Isaiah separate themselves from the people, to listen to and interiorize the prophetic word, so that they may be “signs and portents in Israel from the Lord of hosts”.[8] The Nazirites are another distinct prophetic group within the community. The book of Numbers, chapter six records their rule and constitutions. Strong drink is prohibited, especially any sort that is made from grapes. This abstinence is meant to remind the larger community of their wanderings in the wilderness. As nomads, they had no wine, nor any of the other amenities that come with a sedentary, agrarian form of life. Consequently, they had nothing to draw them away from fidelity and openness to their God. The prohibition against cutting hair had the same purpose: to remind the community of the fidelity they had when they led less complicated lives in the desert. That their witness was effective and disturbed the people in their complacency is testified by the fact that their opponents tried to silence these prophets.[9]

Jeremiah mentions another prophetic community, the Rechabites, who not only practiced abstinence from alcohol, but also lived as nomads, avoiding permanent dwellings, planting no crops and living in tents.[10] Thus, they were a living reminder of the birth of the people of Israel during the exodus from Egypt and the desert wandering. The prophetic witness does not, however, demand that the wider community should imitate the life-style of the prophets. This should merely challenge the society to live out its commitment in greater devotion and to have the right priorities.

1.5 Being Priestly
The people of God must, therefore, be a priestly people. This means, they must be a mediator of the reality of God. By the way they live, others will begin to perceive the God they cannot see. The community, precisely because it is a living, trusting and celebrating community, will be an evangelizing one, making others aware of the presence of the living God. It is clear that being a priest involves the proclamation of the Good News of the Gospel which brings others to the awareness of the living, loving God and to commitment to Him.[11] This is not achieved by words alone, but by life itself. This life is measured in terms of holiness.
In the Bible holiness means belonging to God, being taken up into the reality of God, sharing divine life and love. It means being immersed in the mystery of the God who is completely other. Holiness also means seeing life and the world from God’s point of view and living a lifestyle that flows from that point of view. This brings us to the full circle, since to be immersed in the reality of God requires that one be constantly listening to God.

It is not always easy to hear the voice of God. Even one of the greatest of the prophets, Elijah, had to learn that Yahweh does not always speak the way the prophets wanted.[12] The prophet expected the Lord to speak to his people in a great tempest, earthquake or fire. Elijah thought in terms of a voice that would shake them or arouse them. But it was through none of these that the Lord wanted to speak. It was in the “voice of a whispering breeze.” To be a good listener means to be open to every possible way in which God might speak. Holiness and the very existence as a God-covenanted community depended on it.

Because of the importance of listening, a certain group among the people was set apart to be professional listeners: the priest. It was their primary function to proclaim the Torah.

Unfortunately, in later Judaism the Torah often came to be understood as the written law. Thus the impression arose that all that God had to say was totally contained in the law. This was not so in the beginning when Torah meant God’s will. Another but subordinate function of the priests was to celebrate the liturgy. As soon as this became their primary task, however, the proclamation of the Torah suffered. The purpose behind the ceremonies of the liturgy consisted in helping the people celebrate their relationship with God and with one another. Without the Torah, without an attentive ear to the will of God, the rituals of the liturgy became empty forms and meaningless formulas. When this happens, one thinks that God can be kept in a good mood or that God can be manipulated. Services no longer are an expression of a vital relationship that needs to be lived out in life. This loss of the sense of their vocation among the priests led to an identity crisis among the people. “… for with you is my contention, O priest… you shall stumble by day, the prophet also shall stumble with you by night. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, because you have rejected knowledge I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children”.[13]

What is it that must happen to our priests? Archbishop Paul Verdzekov, of blessed memory once said: “It is extremely important for all of us to remember at all times, dear brethren, what the Catholic priest is, or should be, and what he is not. We have already said that a priest is a servant. This means that he must strive to resemble Him who said: ‘The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’.
The Catholic Priesthood is service to God’s People. This clearly implies that the Catholic Priesthood cannot, and should never, be considered by anyone as a means of self-fulfillment, as a ladder for upward social mobility, as a means of social promotion, as a position which entitles someone to social prestige, or as a means of social promotion for the priest’s parents and relatives, his village of origin, or the ethnic group from which he comes”.[14] Priests are, radically, Christians, called to carry out a mission that requires previous training, priestly ordination, particular configuration with Christ, Priest and Shepherd. Hence, the first task of education in seminaries is to form good Christians, that is, to educate in human and Christian virtues, common to all disciples of Jesus.[15]

In the Old Law the failure of the priest to impart Torah was responsible for the people not knowing, that they were no longer in loving unity with their God. So the people were thrown into a crisis of identity. God personally had to intervene once more, raising up prophets. They were to remind the priestly caste why it had been established. They were to recall the people to its original calling: that of being a listening, priestly and holy people, living in a covenant with God.

1.6 The Prophetic intention of the New Testament
Again and again, the people of the Old Testament were reminded of their calling by individual prophets and through prophetic communities. Does the New Testament contribute anything new to this, or does it merely continue in the prophetic tradition? The early Christian community looked upon Jesus as a prophet. He defined himself as such when he declared: “prophets are not without honor except in their country and in their own house”.[16] He and those to whom he ministered saw his role to the community as a continuation of the prophetic charism. It is as a prophet that he gathered disciples to continue his work. As a prophet he cut through the legalism and the institutionalisation of Judaism, leading it back to its original vocation. “He said to him: ‘you shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest commandment.

And the second is like it: ‘you shall love your neigbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”[17] This is not a new teaching, but a quotation from their own Scriptures (Dt 6:5; Lev 19:18). In fact « le ministère de Jésus cadre parfaitement avec le prophète de l’Alliance Ancienne. Jésus est perçu comme un prophète par ses contemporains : ‘c’est un prophète semblable à l’un de nos prophètes’ (Mc 6 :15) ; lors de la confession de Pierre, les disciples lui rapportent ce que les gens disent de lui. Il est « Jérémie ou l’un des prophètes » (Mt. 16 :14 et par). Dans les évangiles, il s’applique à lui-même le proverbe du prophète qui ne trouve pas accueil dans sa patrie (Lk. 4 :24 et par, John 4 :44). Sans conteste, Jésus agit et parle comme un prophète. »[18]
John the Baptist who was the linking prophet had his own disciples, some of whom left him and followed Christ. Jesus called other disciples to join the little band and it was to a community of love that he called them. Therefore, Jesus and His disciples lived the original calling of the people of Israel within the community of Jewish people. Here, two aspects deserve special emphasis:

Jesus and His disciples continue the tradition of nomadic existence of many of the prophetic groups: they must leave everything: house, family, all they possess. Jesus has “nowhere to lay his head.” They wander through the land as a prophetic group in order to bring the Good News to the poor, and this they do by sharing the fate of the poor. They want to bring peace in their hearts. In fact, the method is in harmony with the goal.

Like the prophets of the Hebrew Testament, Jesus and His disciples devote themselves to justice and to the poor who have no hope in this world anymore, yet who can hope for everything from God. In contrast to the official representatives of Judaism, Jesus and His disciple place themselves at the side of the poor. To what extent this is in harmony with the prophetic tradition can be seen in the symbolic action of Jesus’ driving out of money lenders from the temple.[19] The house of God should really be a house of prayer, not a house in which strangers are discriminated against and from which the poor are excluded.

1.7 The Church’s Prophetic presence in the World
To express the intense bond which unites Jesus and His disciples, Paul uses the word Koinonia to express the church assembly. This is often translated as fellowship, or communion. In the Greek Old Testament, the Septuagint, Koinonia is only used to refer to people involved in a common endeavour or project. For Paul, however, it is the common designation for the community which God’s Son entered into and formed into a Koinonia. This relationship is so intense and intimate that it is said to be a Koinonia in the spirit before being so physically.

The fundamental reality of the Church, then, is that it is community, people, Koinonia, the body of Christ, a prophetic presence. The Church has no other reason for existing than to be prophetic. What we can do is to celebrate and live out that reality. Luke understands it this way: “They devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching and fellowship, Koinonia, to the breaking of the bread and the prayers”.[20]

This description provided the pattern for all ecclesial communities in the first two centuries. They were an underground Church in a world where it was dangerous to be a Christian; and yet where it was necessary to be a prophet. They supported each other in living out the reality of the Gospel together. In fact, the four Gospels came into existence in order to help the communities to live as Koinonia, as a community, as the body of Christ. They were written for and by the community in an attempt to find answers to their own questions.

As in the Hebrew Testament, the Christians responded to the call of God. They wanted to be attentive to the Divine word, to live in profound communion with God, to be priestly mediators of the idea of God, to be steeped in the holiness of God. There was no need for prophetic communities since the Church itself was a prophetic community. This is not an issue of the past, the call has never changed; our Church has never changed. Our Church is meant to remain prophetic in our world – a world gradually falling into the kingdom of relativism.

Part II
2.1 Moral Relativism in our Modern Society
As a matter of fact, our modern society’s temptation is relativism, which turns many people into skeptics[21]. Relativism rejects morality and authority and makes people think for themselves. It exalts individualism and subjectivism as the dominant factors in ethical thought as decision making thereby rejecting objective moral norms and reference-points which they hardly acknowledge as the criteria of discernment in matters of morality and faith. What is considered of topmost priority is only an individual’s interest.

In her book; The New Global Ethics: Challenges for the Church,
Marguerite A. Peters explains relativism “ a destabilization of our rational or theological apprehension of reality, of the anthropological structure given by God to man and woman, of the order of the universe as established by God. The basic belief of relativism is that every reality is a social construct, that truth and reality have no stable and objective content …If there is no ‘given’, then social, political, juridical, spiritual norms and structures can be deconstructed and reconstructed at will, following the social transformations of the moment; a type of situation ethics. Relativism exalts the arbitrary sovereignty of the individual and of his or her right to choose. It celebrates differences, the diversity of choices, cultural diversity, cultural liberty, sexual diversity (different sexual orientations). This so-called ‘celebration’ is in fact that of the false or caricature ‘liberation’ of man and woman from the conditions of existence in which God has placed them.
Our modern society of relativism postulates that the individual, in order to exercise his right to choose, must be able to free himself from all normative frameworks – whether they be semantic (clear definitions), ontological (being, the given), political (sovereignty of the state), moral (transcendent norms), social (taboos, what is forbidden), cultural (traditions) or religious (dogma, doctrine of the Church). It goes through the destabilization and the deconstruction of clear definitions, the truth…of all that is considered universal and of divine revelation.”[22]

Marguerite goes on to say that; “When the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948, Western cultures by and large still recognized the existence of a ‘natural law’, of an order ‘given’ to the universe (and therefore of the ‘giver’): ‘all human beings are born free and equal in dignity’” (article 1). The universal declaration hence speaks of the inherent human dignity of all members of the human family. If it is innate, then human dignity needs to be recognized, and human rights must be declared, not fabricated ex nihilo. In 1948, the concept of universality was related to the recognition of the existence of these rights. Universality had a transcendent dimension and therefore, moral implications.
But with the advent of relativism, came the divorce. The global ethic posits itself above national sovereignty, above the authority of parents and educators, even above the teachings of world religions and legitimate hierarchy. “Universal human rights eventually became radically autonomous from any objective and transcendent framework. It bypasses every legitimate authority. It establishes a direct link between itself and the individual citizen – proper of a dictatorship. The purely immanent principle of the right to choose is the product of that divorce.”[23]

Obviously for the Church, the complex of new ideologies, with the various interpretations of the meaning of life and consequent ethical pluralism, is like a whirlwind that comes crashing in upon conscience and tries to upset them.

2.2 Demerits of Relativism
Relativism therefore claims the right to exercise one’s freedom against the law of nature, against traditions and against divine revelation. It re-establishes the rule of “law” and democracy on the right to choose, in which it includes the right, in the name of new ethics, to make intrinsically evil choices: abortion, homosexuality, “free love”, euthanasia, assisted suicide, rejection of any form of legitimate authority or hierarchy, a spirit of disobedience manifesting itself in so many forms.

For example, the question of some priests taking over political appointments and having secret marriages as culturally conditioned in some tribes, proves the point. The right to choose, so interpreted, has become the fundamental norm governing the interpretation of all human rights and the main reference of the new global ethics.
The absence of clear definitions is the dominant feature of all the words and expressions of the new global language. The experts who forged the new concepts explicitly refused to define them clearly, claiming that definitions would set limits on one’s interpretations and contradict the norm of the right to choose. As a consequence, the new concepts have no stable or single content: they are processes of constant change as often as the values of society mutate, with possibilities for new choices.

The absence of clarity is strategic and manipulative. The goal is to allow the co-existence of the most contradictory interpretations: maternity, contraception or abortion; voluntary sterilization or in vitro fertilization, sexual relations within or outside marriage, at any age, under any circumstance as long as one abides by the triple precept of the new ethics: the partner’s consent; their health security; and respect for the woman’s right to choose. In spite of its eminently incoherent character, reproductive health became one of the most applied norms of the new global ethic.

Gender, the key concept of the 1995 Beijing conference, fully integrates the concept of reproductive health. It is defined as the changeable social roles of men and women, as opposed to their unchangeable reproductive functions. The agenda hidden behind this vague ‘definition’ is the deconstruction of the anthropological structure of man and woman, of their complementarity, of their femininity and masculinity as found in Gen 1:27, 2:1-24. The role of the woman as a mother and spouse and her very nature as a woman would be nothing more than a social construct; “one is not born a woman, one becomes a woman,” said Simone de Beauvoir.
The deconstruction of the human person as man and woman leads to an asexual society, to a “neutral society”, without masculinity and femininity. The deconstruction process eventually leads to a society without love. Gender is at the very heart of global development priorities and in particular the Millennium Development Goals. Once genders are fused, people do not see why there should be no women priests, thus religion is not free from such an ethic.

The global ethic puts the choices on gender deconstructionism and sexual orientation (gay marriages, bisexuality, homosexuality, lesbianism and heterosexuality on the same level. Further more, the Cairo conference introduced the concept of the family under all its forms including the traditional families, reconstituted families and families made of the same sex parents.
In relativism, the individual becomes the “free’ creator of his own destiny and of the new social order. He can choose to be homosexual today and bisexual tomorrow (sexual orientation). Children can choose their own opinion, irrespective of the values they receive from parents. Some have even chosen transexuality – the claim that from today I am not more a boy but a girl. Treated as equal citizens, they participate in the political decisions that affect their lives in the name of youth parliaments.
Women’s groups ‘clarify’ the doctrine of the Church and democratize the Church in the name of participatory democracy. For example, the advocates of relativism promote reproductive health as the right not to reproduce but to “safe” abortion, and universal access to the “widest range of contraceptives”.

The postmodern ethic of choice or relativism boasts of eliminating hierarchies. Yet by globally imposing the “transcendence of the arbitrary choice, it engenders a new hierarchy of values. It places pleasure above love, health and well-being above the sacredness of life, the participation of special interest groups in governance above democratic representation, women’s right above motherhood, the empowerment of selfish individuals above any form of legitimate authority, ethics above morality, the right to choose above the eternal law written in the human heart, democracy and humanism above divine revelation – in a nutshell, immanence above transcendence, a man above God, the ‘world’ above ‘heaven’.”[24]
The new hierarchies express a form of domination over consciences – what pope Benedict XVI, called a dictatorship of relativism.
Dictatorship means that there is a top–down imposition, while relativism implies the denial of absolutes and reacts against anything it considers as top-down, such as truth, revelation, reality, morality, etc. In a dictatorship of relativism, a radical deconstruction of our humanity and of our faith is somehow being imposed on us in non – threatening’ ways – through cultural transformation. Relativism wears a mask: it is domineering, deconstructive and affects valid ethical principles.[25]
I draw to your attention and for personal reading, a very deep and an inspirational reflection on the truth from the Encyclical letter of John Paul II: “Veritatis Splendor”, found as Appendix II.

[1] Rosemary K. Mbuh, The Push and Pull to Roman Catholicism, PPC Kumbo, 2011 p. 98.
[2] Cf. Ramón Macías-Alatorre, Liberation and Human promotion in Following Christ in Mission, Paulines, Nairobi, 1995, p. 126.
[3] See Appendix I.
[4] Roland de Vaux, Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions, tr. John McHugh, Darton, Longman & Todd, London, 1991, p. 345.
[5] Ex. 19:5-6.
[6] Cf. Hos 11.
[7] Cf. Hos 1:6; cf. Jer 13;16; Ez 4;5;12,24.
[8] Is 8:18.
[9] Cf. Amos. 2:11f.
[10] Cf. Jer. 35.
[11] Cf. Maria Aoko, et al. Eds., “Biblical and Prophetic Basis of the Franciscan Mission”, in Comprehensive Course on the Franciscan Mission Charism, Lesson Unit 5, CCFMC Africa Secretariat, Kenya, 1994, p. 10.
[12] 1 Kgs. 19.
[13] Hos 4:4-6.
[14] Paul Verdzekov, “Priestly Obedience, Priestly Ordination of Gregory Ngwa Cheo, Bonaventure Ndong Chia & Antoninus Tantan Somi”, in Sermons on Priestly Ministry, St. Joseph’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Wednesday, 15th April 1998, pp. 13-14.
[15] Interview with Bishop José María Yanguas, By Carmen Elena Villa, on the Affective Formation of Seminarians, ZENIT, Rome, 23 Feb. 2011.
[16] Mt 13:57.
[17] Mt 22:37-40.
[18] Patrick Fabian, « La Parabole comme Discours Prophétique », in Prophétie et Prophètes dans la Bible: Exigences du Prophétisme au sein de l’Eglise Famille de Dieu en Afrique, Cairo, September 6th-12th 2003, Kinshasa 2004, p. 140.
[19] Cf. Mt 21:12-17.
[20] Acts 2:42.
[21] John Paul II, Agenda for the Third Millennium, Harper COLLINS Publishers, London, 1996, p. 104.
[22] Marguerite A. Peters, The New Global Ethic, 2006, p. 10.
[23] Ibid. p.11 -12.
[24] Ibid. p. 15-17.
[25] Cf. Ibid. p.17.

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