By Martin Mutua
Cardinal John Njue has cautioned men against demanding unreasonable bride price for their daughters, saying that in some cases they have been a major hindrance to the sacrament of matrimony.
A visibly annoyed Njue said he was forced at one time to intervene in such a matter when a father-in-law had called off a wedding because he was not paid Ksh.250,000 as bride price.
The cardinal said a young man in Embu had approached him when he was the Bishop there seeking to solemnise his marriage and therefore wanted him to officiate it which he obliged.
However, Njue told the huge congregation that had gathered at the church grounds that a few weeks to the wedding, the young man came back to him and expressed regret that he was calling off the wedding.
“When I asked why the change of heart, the young man told me that the father in law was demanding Ksh.250,000 before the wedding can proceed. I hit the roof.” he added.
The cardinal said he contacted the priest of the church where the young man came from and asked him to call the old man so that he can have a chat with him.
“But when the old man heard that I had requested a meeting with him to just greet him, he declined and instead told the priest the wedding should go on as he did not want any trouble with the bishop,” added Njue as he threw the crowd into laughter.
Njue, however, wondered whether he would have to intervene whenever such incidences came up.
He, therefore, appealed to fathers not to be obstacles to their daughters’ happiness and especially when it involved them coming closer to God in the sacrament of Holy Matrimony.
He also urged Christians to pray for the country especially during this electioneering period, adding that what Kenyans needed more was peace and unity.
“All the developments the women, men and youth have done for this church was never done on the basis of where one comes from as all the communities are represented here, how wonderful it would be for the same to be replicated in our daily lives and our country,” he added.
Njue made the remarks when he presided over a colourful mass to mark Family Day at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Buruburu in Nairobi Sunday.
During the occasion, the cardinal also administered the sacrament of confirmation to 90 catechumens.
The Cardinal closed the parish year of women and inaugurated the year of the youth which will run up to June next year.
He was accompanied by the Parish priest Fr Moses Kago his assistants James Mbugua and Bernard Ndichu.