Garissa Town Member of Parliament (MP) Aden Duale’s comment about the Catholic Church during an interview with Citizen TV has sparked reactions online.
Duale made the comment on Wednesday, August 11, in relation to his former political party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).
The MP disclosed that he abandoned the Raila-led outfit in 2009 – claiming that members were not given the freedom of thought and expression.
He likened his former political party to a cult, specifically likening it to the Catholic church which is headed by the Pope.
“ODM is a cult, nobody can speak. It’s like the Catholic church,” the MP stated.
Many Kenyans have called out the former majority leader for dragging the Roman Catholic Church in his political ways with ODM.
“As an ODM life member and fully baptized and confirmed member of the Catholic Church, I take great exception to the comparison by Duale of these institutions with cults. Duale must apologize and forthwith respect each one’s freedom of association and worship,” ODM Secretary General demanded in a public statement.
“Roman Catholic Church is the oldest monotheistic religion bar Judaism. Islam & Protestantism are its offshoots. That my friend Aden Duale syncs ODM, a temporal political body & my Church, an ecclesiastical body is heretical to the largest body of believers in Kenya & the world,” lawyer Donald Kipkorir remarked.
“Garissa Town MP Aden Duale must apologize to the Catholic Church and fast for 40 days,” Ronoh Cornelius complained.
A section of Kenyans saw the comment as an insult targeting Raila Odinga, the ODM Party Leader and President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is a Catholic faithful.
Kenyans asked Duale to emulate President Kenyatta and respect the religious beliefs of other Kenyans.
While attending the memorial service of Tanzania’s former President the Late Pombe Magufuli, President Kenyatta paused his speech as a call to prayer at a nearby Mosque sounded.
The president received a round of applause from the crowd in attendance.
The former Majority Leader, who practices Islam, responded to the criticism stating that his comments were addressed to ODM and not to the church.
“My remark was in reference to the ODM party and not the Catholic Church as a cult. I have tremendous respect for the Catholic Church and its elaborate structures. I am a man of faith who respects all the teachings of other religions, ” read his tweet.