Polycarp Cardinal Pengo Polycarp Cardinal Pengo
Function:
Archbishop of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania
Title:
Cardinal Priest of Nostra Signora de La Salette
Birthdate:
Aug 05, 1944
Country:
Tanzania
Elevated:
Feb 21, 1998
More information:
www.catholic-hierarchy.org
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English Homosexuality one of the most heinous sins on earth
Nov 18, 2004
Homosexuality is illegal in Tanzania. It is a social and religious taboo. The archbishop of Dar es Salaam, Cardinal Polycarp Pengo, hit out at homosexuality, saying it was one of the most heinous sins on earth.

(Dispatch online, May 6 2000) Earlier this year, the archbishop of Dar es Salaam, Cardinal Polycarp Pengo, hit out at homosexuality, saying it was one of the most heinous sins on earth.

"God said people should bear children to fill the world. How can a sexual relationship between two men, or two women for that matter, fill the world? This is quite absurd," he said. Pengo made the remarks at a special Mass held at the Saint Joseph Church in Dar es Salaam to bless 600 couples who had been married for at least 25 years.

Those attending the Mass included a host of dignitaries from all walks of life.

The cardinal also criticised campaigners who want the Catholic Church to allow marriages between men.

Two days later, Mohamed Issa and Abdulrahman Juma exchanged rings in a very public gay wedding that was extensively covered by the local media.

Homosexuality is taboo in Tanzania -- mainly practised in the region along the Indian Ocean, it is associated with Arab culture. It is also outlawed.

Some critics say Taarabu, a traditional and popular form of music in the eastern belt tracing its roots to Arabic culture, fuels homosexuality.

"Taarabu is music for homosexuals. Every time Taarabu music is performed, you find gays there," says Peter Machunde, a sociologist at the Institute of National Social Welfare.

He says Taarabu came from Mombasa in Kenya where gays favoured it for its romantic lyrics.

The issue has even permeated politics.

In March, prosecutors at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's court in Dar es Salaam charged Kassim Mohammed, a homosexual, with loitering and earning money by "impersonating a woman".

The court acquitted him but ordered him to go back to his home village, "undertake agriculture and earn a decent living".
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