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Degrading the Sacred Institution of Marriage

Degrading the Sacred Institution of Marriage

By Haile Bokure

Nevertheless, the recent ill-intended news concerning the state-sponsored polygamy, primarily implies to Christian Eritreans belonging to different denominations.  In fact, all members embrace the same value when it comes to marriage, not because of their religious rites, but because of the social and economic factors regulating matrimony. So, it is impossible to separate the State from the Church in these virtually religious communities of Afro-Asiatic stock.

In this connection, I would like to share with you what Alvarez had to say according to his observation at Dibarwa (circa 1520) which was the seat of Bahri Negasi (king of the sea):-   

"The priests are married to one wife, and they observe the law of matrimony better than the laity. They live in their houses with their wives and children. If the wife should die, they do not marry again; neither can the wife, but they may become a nun or remain a widow. If a priest sleeps with another woman whilst his wife is alive, he does not enter the church any more, nor does he enjoy its goods, and remains as a layman. And this I know from having seen a priest accused before the Patriarch of having slept with a woman, and I saw the priest confessed the offense, and the Patriarch commanded him not to carry a cross in his hand, nor to enter a church, nor to enjoy the liberties of the church, and to become a layman. If any priests after becoming widowers marry, they remain laymen. They no longer enter the church as laymen, and among the women.”

According to these descriptions, it is unlikely that the ecclesiastical communities who are the moral guardians of society tolerate the institution of polygamy which is prevalent in some parts of the world where women are looked upon as a breeding and lascivious stock.

For those who want to read the Tigrigna version of Alvareze’s description…..

እቶም ኣቕሽሽቲ ነፍሲ-ወከፎም ሓንቲ ሰበይቲ ጥራይ ክምርዓው ከለው፡ ካብቶም ተራ ምእመናን ድማ ብዝበለጸ ስርዓተ ቃል-ኪዳን የኽብሩ። ምስ ኣንስቶምን ደቆምን ብሓንሳእ ኣብ ገዛኦም ይቕመጡ። እንተ ሞታ’ውን እንደገና ኣይምርዓውን እዮም። ንሳተን’ውን ብወገነን ስለ ዘይምርዓዋ፡ እንተ ደልየን ፈለስቲ ወይ ሓያማት ይዀና። ምናልባት ሓደ ካህን ሰበይቱ ብህይወታ ከላ ምስ ካልእ ሰበይቲ ብስጋ እንተ ተራኺቡ፡ ኣብ ቤተ-ክርስትያን ከይኣቱን ንብረት ከይጥቀምን ይኽልከል። በዚ ምኽንያት ከምቶም ተራ ምእመናን ይቚጸር። እዚ ብዓይነይ ዝርኣኹዎ እዩ። ንኣብነት ሓደ ቀሺ ምስ ሓንቲ ሰበይቲ ብስጋ ብምርኻቡ ተኸሲሱ ኣብ ቅድሚ ፓትሪያክ ምስ ቀረበ፡ በደሉ ኣመነ’ሞ፡ መስቀል ከይሕዝ፡ ኣብ ቤተ-ክርስትያን ከይኣቱ፡ ኣብ ርእሲኡ’ውን ከም ኣባል ቤተ-ክርስትያን ዝነበሮ መሰል ከይጥቀምን ከም ተራ ሰብ ክቚጸርን ፈረዱዎ። ኣቕሽሽቲ ብሰንኪ ሞት ኣንስቶም እንደገና እንተ ተመርዕዮም፡ ተራ ምእመናን ብምዃን ዝተረፉ መዋእል ህይወቶም የሕልፍዎ።

ሃይለ ቦዂረ

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