The role of the church in promoting human rights in Situmi Catholic Parish in light of Pacem in Terris of John XXIII
This dissertation examines the role of the Catholic Church in promoting human rights. It is a case study of what Catholic Church has done in Situmi Parish (comprising of 26 sub/parishes), Tororo Archdiocese. This has been done in the light of the encyclical letter ‘pacem in terris’: Peace on Earth, of John XXIII and in the Library of Ggaba National Major Seminary Kampala and internet for literature review. The study covered the period between 2016 and 2018. Beside, the study acknowledges the role of the Catholic Church in promoting Human Rights, through which Christians can acquire peace, i.e. by shunning ‘sin’ that violates Human rights in order to participate in the affairs of promoting the human rights effectively and responsibly. The study is premised on the fact that the role played by the church in promoting human right is essential. That is to say, Situmi parish is mandated to promote, protect, and oversee programs intended to inculcate in the people of Situmi awareness of their rights and responsibilities. Unfortunately, in spite of the fact that there are a host of other stakeholders involved in promoting human rights, the level of human rights awareness in the parish still remains low. The study sets out to examine the role of the Church in promoting human rights, the challenges it faces in carrying out this role and make recommendations for improvement on the other hand. The study also looks at other players such as: the state and NGOs doing similar work of promoting human rights and examines their role as well. Qualitative data analysis research strategy was used and data was collected through the use of questionnaires, internet and both published books and unpublished published reports as well. This dissertation asserts that there can be no meaningful promotion of human rights if people are not aware of their rights and responsibilities. The study found that despite the Church’s efforts, the level of human rights awareness by some individuals still leaves a lot to be desired especially in Situmi parish, which was attributed to the parish’s limited resources (anthropological poverty) and high illiteracy rates among the catechists. Top on the study’s recommendations is the need to train the catechists since they are the immediate collaborator in the Church and to make the parish financially stable in order to enhance peace, its independence and the need to have a detailed curriculum on sensitizations, through conducting seminars and workshops to ensure that awareness messages on dignity of man on which human right base are well coordinated and are presented in a holistic manner which would ultimately promote human rights in the parish.