South African bishops slate Zuma’s adultery
The bishops of South Africa have criticised President Jacob Zuma’s “scandalous behaviour” following his admission that he fathered a child out of wedlock.
In a statement issued ahead of Zuma’s State of the Union address, the bishops said they were “appalled that for the second time in as many years” Zuma did not “express regret or show remorse for his adultery.”
Acknowledging Zuma’s apology for engaging in “unprotected sex”, the bishops said they were appalled at the “irreparable damage that such immorality has done to the nation’s efforts to slow down or even to reverse the rampant spread of HIV and AIDS.”
Such behaviour flouts “the norms of morality and decency, accepted and expected by the vast majority of people,” they said.
“In particular we deplore the attempts to excuse or even defend bad moral behaviour in the name of ‘culture,'” they added.
The urged “all followers of Christ, all men and women of good will, but especially our youth and young adults, to obey and live by the teaching of the Lord, which sets out the behaviour that is necessary for a sound and healthy society.”
The Church teaches that polygamy, the practice of having multiple wives or husbands, goes against Church teaching on marriage as an indissoluble bond between one man and one woman.
Zuma, 67, has three wives and a fiancée.
The child he fathered out of wedlock, with a prominent banker, is widely reported to be his twentieth.