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Should Catholic priests be allowed to marry?

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Last week’s reports of the sex scandal that rocked the local Catholic diocese, culminating in the resignation of Bishop Valentine Seane, have prompted a debate around the utility of Catholic priests’ celibacy. Many people who followed details of the scandal on social media felt it was high time Catholic priests were allowed to marry. For decades this is the question that has been coming more often to the Catholic authority.

However, even with the sex scandals that happen all over the world, the Church maintains this is not an easy decision to make. The fact that one becomes a priest by choice knowing that they are not allowed to marry settles the argument. It is believed that these ordinances have kept the church, priests, and parishioners very strong for thousands of years. Meanwhile, there are mixed feelings about the issue.

Some members of the church, as well as outsiders, believe that priests need to experience and understand fully the challenges that families go through if they are to support them through life’s difficulties. However, many Catholic priests struggle with celibacy, which affects their ministry and spiritual growth. In February 2013, Pope Benedict shocked the Catholic Church members when he resigned from his position as Holy See.

The resignation was unexpected and the first thing to happen in the Catholic Church. Reports reveal that Pope’s resignation was prompted by the tough decisions he had to make as the leader of the church which included confirmation that there was a so-called “gay lobby” among senior Vatican clerics. As described by Benedict, this was more accurately a clique of up to five men who had their sexuality in common but worked together for their own ends rather than pushing the cause of gay believers.

Benedict managed to remove the group from power. But he often lacked decisiveness. Benedict has made only a handful of public appearances since he retired in 2013 saying he no longer has the strength of mind or body to carry on. A local Catholic priest explains that just like Pope Benedict did after resignation, going out to pray and listen to the Lord, Seane also is going through that moment of praying and listening to the Lord. On Sunday at Christ the King Cathedral in Gaborone, the newly appointed apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Gaborone His Lordship Frank Nubuasah S.V.D. explained to the church that Seane is still a Bishop and he is now Bishop Emeritus.

He called on all members to pray for the church. “This is the time for us to seriously pray, it is our responsibility to pray for Bishop Seane,” said Nabuasah. After Seane’s resignation as the Bishop of the Diocese of Gaborone, which shocked members of the church, he was accused of having been involved in a sex scandal which resulted in the rape and abuse of the Sisters of Calvary, forcing some of them to commit abortion.

However, some members of the church have refused to buy into the sex-related accusations because for a long time, they have known Seane to live under pressure from an alleged plot to kill him, which they believe led to his decision to quit. The story within the church is that Seane was allegedly threatened by some priest who has for some time been eyeing his position.

The said priest is said to have connived with some rich people who are after the church land and view him as an obstacle towards acquiring it. Seane’s resignation came as a shock to the church members as it was the first time a Catholic Bishop in Botswana resigned.

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BMC secures beef market in Seychelles

Dikarabo Ramadubu

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Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) will soon start to sell its beef to the Island of Seychelles. Not only will they sell frozen raw meat, but will also send corned beef for trial in the Island.

All this is thanks to last week’s visit by President Mokgweetsi Masisi who included in his delegation executive management of the BMC, led by Chief Executive Officer, Dr Akolang Tombale.
The agreement signed between BMC and two leading Seychelles companies, will see BMC exporting at least 48 tonnes of raw beef to the island possibly from October. The names of the two companies that BMC signed an agreement with are Seychelles Trading Company which is a quasi-government organisation, and Rosebelle Company which is privately owned.

Although both have agreed to trade with each other, BMC cannot start immediately, as they have to wait for the green light from Seychelles companies who still have to apply for import permits in accordance with the law of their republic.

Speaking to The Midweek Sun, Tombale expressed gratitude that they managed to get good business in Seychelles through the assistance of President Masisi. “We are ready to export any time from now. As you know Seychelles is an island surrounded by mountains and cannot produce much if not anything. “They therefore depend much on imports even from as far as Brazil and Europe. Their economy is driven by tourism and they do not differ much with the European market in terms of the demand for beef as most tourists come from Europe and United States.”

Dr. Tombale said they agreed with the two companies that since “we are not sure about the logistics we will start by selling 24tonnes to each company per month, meaning we will be supplying the Island with a total of 48 tonnes per month. The idea is to start small and grow bigger as the people get used to our beef.” BMC has also negotiated to sell small stock meat to Seychelles and successfully negotiated for local chicken farmers to start selling their range chicken to Seychelles as well.

According to Tombale, he negotiated the deal after being approached by local chicken farmers amongst them Kgosi Mosadi Seboko of Balete, who requested that “we should try to find a market for chicken farmers as we go around the world searching for the beef market.” Tombale revealed that for a start both range chickens and small stock will not be supplied in tonnes or large quantities as they will be sold on a trial basis.

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G-west community reunion-walk a resounding success

Keletso Thobega

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Multitudes turned up for the Mosengwaketsi community walk and braai session this past Saturday in Gaborone West. The walk was held in the morning and was preceded by football games and a braai session that went on until late in the evening.

According to the event director Tshenolo Palai, the aim of the community day event was to revive community spirit and address crime and social ills. “The Mosengwaketsi community reunion will be held not only to create a platform to build unity but also address the social ill of passion killings,” he said.

Palai said that they had also invited health stakeholders for a wellness segment because they had realised that there are many health related conditions that affect the quality of people’s lives hence they had joined forces with religious organisations, the business community, neighbourhood outreach policing and other stakeholders in the area to encourage a culture of unity and create dialogue between all the parties.

He noted that they had wanted to create a relaxed environment conducive for different people to engage and strengthen their networks. He said they were also concerned with the high rate of crimes of passion in Botswana and also wanted to create a platform for both men and women to open up on issues that affect them because most people tend to be more relaxed in a social setting.

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