From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste
WEDNESDAY, JULY 9, 2014
A widow who does not want her name revealed writes: “Fr Omolo Beste I am a young catholic widow aged 37. I read your article on dealing with the loneliness as one the most challenging problems faced by widowed mothers with great interest.
While I agree with you that the inheritors are there only to exploit the widows, mainly for cheap sex and not interested in taking care of the children they produce with these poor women, at the same time I don’t agree with catholic doctrine that widows should remain single.
I really long to read that book by Fr Joseph Okech- I am not sure how much he has treated this issue of widows in his book. Surely Fr Beste, how can I remain single at my age? Give me a break bwana!”
Thank you for your openness. In fact Catholic Doctrine does not bar widows from getting remarried provided that this is done according to the Catholic teaching. You can get a single man to marry in church. This can happen in your husband’s home according to African tradition.
Many African traditions and culture don’t allow widows to leave her husband’s home because of the dowries. Once an African husband dies his wife cannot leave his home to be remarried in another man’s home because of this dowry condition.
As I said earlier I have not read Fr Okech’s book so I cannot say exactly how much he has dealt with this issue of widow and inheritors. Among the Luo of Kenya for example, widows have traditionally been inherited to a local clansman who has his wife and children. This type of remarriage is what the Catholic Church does not allow, in that, this man is married with children and again inherit a widow.
Their interest actually is not in a widow’s welfare but simply cheap sex. That is why they don’t support widows socially and financially. They are not able to take care of medical, education, food, and clothings of the children they produce. Instead a widow is to work extra time to get enough money to feed the man. This is what I referred to my article as the exploitation of the high class.
At 37 I can understand how you feel. Paul speaks directly of your situation, too. “A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If the husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. But in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is” (1 Cor. 7:39-40).
Although remarriage is clearly permissible, yet some widows find it very difficult to remain single as Paul suggests. In fact some widows don’t feel “happier”, that is why they opt for inheritance.
Pope Pius XII observes concerning the widowed “…others after the death of their spouse, have consecrated to God their remaining years in the unmarried state . . . have chosen to lead a life of perfect chastity . . . for love of God to abstain for the rest of their lives from sexual pleasure, in order to devote themselves more freely to the meditation of divine things and better experience the elevations of the spiritual life.”
Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578