Friday, August 30, 2013

Ours has become a neo-pagan culture, and that can be even worse than a simple pagan culture

By Father George Rutler

Last week the Church celebrated the feast of the Martyrs of Uganda. In the late nineteenth century, French and English missionaries were welcomed by King Mutesa I of Buganda in the southern part of modern Uganda. His successor, Mwanga II, however, was a youth who became a persecutor of Christians and all foreigners. He especially opposed Christian morality, as it contradicted his affinity for unnatural vice which was abhorred by the local Buganda culture, but which he is said to have learned from Arab tradesmen.

The young male pages of Mwanga’s court were Christian converts and refused the king’s attempts at seduction. This disobedience to the king was considered treasonous, and Mwanga exercised what he considered his right to destroy any life at will, according to the saying, Namunswa alya kunswaze — meaning “the queen ant feeds on her subjects.” Mwanga soon decreed the execution of converts Yusufu Rugarama, Makko Kakumba and Nuwa Sserwanga on January 31, 1885. A senior advisor to the king, Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe, was beheaded on November 15, 1885, and there were many martyrdoms in the following year, climaxing on June 3, 1886, with the torture and burning alive of twenty-six at Namugongo, including their leader, Charles Lwanga, a recent convert himself and majordomo of the royal household. Pope Paul VI canonized them in 1964.  (more...)

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