Catholic priests block marriage

Veronica Gwaze
“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and the two shall be one flesh,” reads the Holy book in Ephesians 5 verse 31.

The scripture, often a favourite for marriage officers, summarily describes how men and women leave their parental homes to live together in a matrimonial union.

However, for 60-year-old Ackrowight Ncube of Gokwe and his wife Krette Kanyonganise of Mberengwa, the scripture assumes a different meaning.

Having been customarily married for more than 15 years, the two wish to tie the knot.

This wedding could have been the first of its kind in Zimbabwe.

However, with Ncube currently serving time in prison and Krette looking after their four children in Mberengwa, Catholic clerics say the marriage can never be a real union.

Ncube was locked up in 2010 for fraud.

While this has not stopped the “lovebirds’’ desire to walk down the aisle and say their vows, something else has.

Krette says the wedding, which should have been held at Harare Central Prison last year, could not happen after priests from her former church, the Catholic, deemed it unworkable.

Father Joseph Katerere said according to Catholic beliefs, merely tying the knot is not enough for a marriage.

“In the Bible, God instructed that a man shall leave his parents and go to live with his wife in holy matrimony, making it clear that men and women are incomplete without one another,” he said.

“They find both physical and spiritual completeness in marriage.”

Kanyonganise, who has since decided to move to Celebration church, is however still determined, saying she will not abandon her marriage.

“I have decided to move to Celebration Church were they understand us better,” she said.

“Interpretations of scriptures differ and so do beliefs, it is the Catholic way and we cannot make them change that.”

Ncube is also still keen to realise his dream but said he is now getting frustrated by the delays.

He said without a legally recognised marriage, his wife cannot access the funds he left behind and look after their children.

Father Katerere, however, maintained that marriage can only work if the two can live together.

“If then we wed someone who is in prison, how are they going to enjoy their conjugal rights?” he asked.

“We are not saying they should break up but our worry is on how they will enjoy their rights.

It is better they hold on until he is released from prison.

“In 1 Timothy 5:14, God makes it clear that the young should marry and bear children and so what we do is nothing out of the ordinary, we are simply saying marriage when one is behind bars and the other one is free does not conform to God ‘s recommendations of a proper marriage according to us.”

“God’s initial purpose of marriage was for the two to bear children.

“This is why we see in the Bible in Genesis, He blessed Sarah and Abraham with a child and said Sarah shall be the mother of all nations and so in this regard, when God joins a man and a woman in marriage, children should be born.”

The priest said in a valid marriage according to the Bible in Corinthians, sexual pleasure is a pre-requisite.

Roman Catholic Secretary General Father Reki Mashayamombe said in the Catholic church, people should marry when there is a possibility of consummating the marriage. Although it can be done for Pastoral reasons,

“We have another Catholic couple where the husband is 65 and the wife is 60.

“They have six children and the husband is serving a sentence of seven years but still we cannot marry them because in this case, there is only the possibility of ratifying the marriage.

“They should wait until the husband is released,” he said.

“The marriage is already consummated by the procreation of children.

“What is left is ratification, which is the formal confirmation of agreement to remain as husband and wife.”

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