KENYA: Science and Faith are Inseparable in Addressing Covid-19, Archbishop Bert van Megen Says

By Arnold Neliba

NAIROBI, SEPTEMBER 18, 2020 (CISA)-“If we reason only within the limits of science with hope of finding solutions to problems like Covid-19 without having room for spiritual space, we will not grasp the ultimate meaning of our purpose of things and our problems,” Archbishop Hubertus van Megen, Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan has said.

The Archbishop was speaking Friday, September 18 during the 46th Graduation ceremony of the Consolata Institute of Philosophy in Nairobi under the theme “The Role of Philosophy in the Reconstruction of post-pandemic Society.”

Quoting Pope Francis address at St Peter’s Square at the Vatican on March 27, the archbishop said, “Philosophy plays a central role in reviving our ravaged society if we use it well our reason to respond to this problem through the divine illumination.”

“We need both faith and reason to help us in interpreting human problems. This is because human beings, endowed with intelligence and love, and drawn by the fullness of Christ, are called to lead all creatures back to their creator,” he said noting that the Catholic Church is open to dialogue with philosophical thought which “has enabled the Church to provide various synthesis between faith and reason.”

He challenged philosophers to heed to calls by Pope Francis to guide the world in being prudent to both behaviours and thinking towards mending a ravaged society.

“We live in the world that is in ICU and need people with positive scholarship to deliver us from these adversities like Covid-19 that is ripping us apart,” the Apostolic Nuncio said stressing that “a fragile world, entrusted by God to human care, challenges us to devise intelligent ways of directing, developing and limiting our power, as Pope Francis encourages in Laudato si.”

According to Fr James Kabata, the rector of Consolata Institute of Philosophy, the traditional philosophical method of critical analysis and clarification are still important and applicable in the covid-19 stricken society.

“Covid-19 came as a human problem and therefore it needs a human solution. This does not mean that we exclude God in finding the solution,” he said adding that, “It is only through critical analysis of the nature of Covid-19 crisis and posing fundamental philosophical questions on it that we can come out of this crisis with solutions that will enable us to reconstruct our society.”