As Spiderman has always understood, with great power comes great responsibility. In Catholicism, that’s a point with particular relevance these days for Africa. Explosive growth of the church is turning Africa into a 21st century Catholic powerhouse, which means that Catholic leaders in Africa face a new responsibility to wield their influence wisely.
A startling story percolating in Uganda illustrates that truth.
An Anglophone nation located in eastern Africa, Uganda has a population of 32 million, roughly 40 percent Catholic. By mid-century the Catholic population should soar to 56 million, enough to make Uganda the sixth-largest Catholic nation in the world, ahead of such traditional Catholic powers as France, Italy, Spain and Poland.
As Comte said, demography is destiny, and Uganda’s destiny is to be a force in setting the tone for the global church. Right now Ugandan Catholics face precisely one of those tone-setting choices: How to respond to a draconian new bill in parliament which would impose the death penalty for homosexuality in certain circumstances.