VATICAN – Pope Francis has hailed Ugandan Speaker of Parliament Anita Among for protecting family values through the passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that was later assented to by President Museveni into law.
In a private audience with Among at the Vatican, Rome, on Friday, August 25, 2023, Pope Francis said the family is the backbone of society and protecting it means saving humanity.
“I thank you, Parliament and the people of Uganda for upholding family values. The family is the rock on which society stands,” he said.
The head of the Catholic Church said Ms Among was doing a good job of leading God’s people through legislation that promotes godly principles and urged her to remain steadfast even when she faces sanctions from some Western countries over the passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
The Pope also hailed President Museveni for being a “brilliant leader” who has worked for humanity through his government’s policies the promote the protection of human rights.
He also praised the government for its friendly refugee policy.
“I also thank Uganda for being a very hospital nation as far as hosting refugees is concerned,” Pope Francis said.
He congratulated Mr Museveni upon his 50th marriage anniversary
“I send warm congratulations and wishes to His Excellence the President upon his golden jubilee anniversary and for his brilliance and belief in culture and values,” Pope Francis said.
He appealed to her to continue standing by Christian values.
“I urge you to continue standing by your strong Christian values and always promote legislation that will ensure freedom of worship, economic freedom and social justice as exemplified in the Bible. As a Parliamentarian always be sensitive to decisions and legislation that separates people from the will of God,” he said
In response, Speaker Among thanked the Pope for his prayers and blessings towards her leadership, and also extended warm greetings from His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni and the people of Uganda.
She appreciated Pope Francis for inviting and according her private audience at the Vatican.
This is Among’s 3rd visit to the Vatican, once as Deputy and twice as Speaker.
The meeting comes as Uganda faces international criticism, including suspension of loans from the World Bank, following the country’s passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Act that criminalizes same sex marriages.
Speaker Among herself is said to have been sanctioned by some Western countries over the matter.