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Father Claude

As I was saying.....

I embrace the world from my backyard at the University of Portland, January 1, 2018. I again invite you to "clod-hop" with me on my journeys to Latin America via this blog. More...

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It has been some weeks since I've posted something new Uganda. The internet has been especially erratic, and the final arrangement for the courses of the School of Diplomacy has been intense. The former has improved, the latter has been completed.

I have hired seven new faculty members to teach courses in international law and governance, global trade, and diplomacy for the region and for Africa, and (to be sure) courses that connect Ugandans with other parts of the world. I was pleased to discover a substantial pool of ex-diplomats with a wide range of experience in Muslim-Arab countries, such as Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Algeria. Also, a focus on Latin American politics is designed to provide a unique emphasis for this new program. Latin America is about as familiar to Africans as craters on the far side of the moon (I was tempted to say the far side of Mars, but it has no "far side" as such). I have also invited Michel Lejeune to teach international law (and he has graciously accepted). Michel is the father and first president (aka Vice Chancellor) of Uganda Martyrs University. He left this post 5 years ago, and is presently the Deputy Executive Director of Uganda's National Council for Higher Education. Michel and Tom McDermott, CSC (now working in Bangladesh were my first contacts and heros who inspired my decision to come to Uganda.

Corruption and incompetence exist on all levels of public life in Uganda. However, it is less devastating and destructive than in the USA. Here's an interesting item from last week's newspaper, about our neighbor Somalia. An Islamic court in the south of that country found Ibrahim Hussein Duale guilty of murder of an official of the World Food Program. The official was also from Somalia, but from another tribe. Sharia law accepted his guilty confession and gave the family of the murdered official a choice of punishments. Either death; or pay the murdered victims family a fine of 100 female camels. The family quite wisely chose the 100 camels, since they considered that murder would satisfy neither Allah, family,n or justice, but the other penalty would satis.

As I witness the basic dynamics of human relationships among this complex social group of Christians, Muslims and indigenous religions, I see as much human wisdom as anything imported from France or England. Today at the French Mass of the White Fathers, the congregation of Congolese, Burundians, Rwandans, Ugandans, Belgians, French and Americans (and a Franco/American) sang the Creed, I believe in the God of Song, clapping, swaying and laughing. Allah was fully present in this Eucharist.

Today, we celebrate the fifth ordination anniversary of Leonard Olobo, CSC. Join me in prayers for his ministry, and for the future ministry of Holy Cross in East Africa!

Permalink | Sunday, March 29, 2009