No HIV Test, No Wedding - Anglican Church

Nigeria - Couples seeking to be joined in holy wedlock in the Anglican Diocese of Osun, in Osun State, will have to produce their HIV and AIDS test results to be qualified.

The Bishop of the diocese, the Rt. Rev. James Popoola, stated this on Tuesday at the end of the sixth Synod of the diocese held at the Cathedral of All Saints, Osogbo.

He noted that the Anglican Communion was seriously concerned about the rate at which HIV and AIDS scourge was spreading.

He said that the Synod took the decision with the aim of ensuring that all members of the church, particularly new couples remained faithful in their marriage.

Popoola pointed out that the experience of the church in recent times had not been palatable, adding that "fornication of whatever ramification or guise should be abhorred by all Christians and churches".

He advised that young people should learn to preserve themselves and reserve sexual intercourse only for matrimony.

According to him, the church should preach total abstinence from immorality, adding that condoms should not be recommended for all singles and to married Christians.

According to him, "the Synod objected to the obnoxious traditional widowhood practices which are prevalent in our society such as forceful marriage of the widow to a sibling of the deceased".

The bishop warned that the Anglican Church would no longer proceed on marriage services where such couples were indecently dressed, saying that reading of newspapers and use of cell-phones must be discouraged in the church.

Popoola said that the Synod had vehemently rejected the consecration into the Episcopate of gay priests.

He commended the courage of the Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) the Most Rev. Peter Akinola, for condemning the unbiblical practice.