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Catholic peace group hails Madonna’s adoption of Malawian boy


Singer Madonna, who has often been at loggerheads with the Roman Catholic Church in which she was brought up, has been praised for her controversial adoption of a Malawian boy from a justice group of the church.

The Lilongwe diocese’s Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) on 13 September praised the US pop star Madonna for adopting David Banda, a poor Malawian from the central region district of Mchinji.

The statement by the Catholic commission ran counter to some non-governmental organizations (NGO) railing against the adoption, charging that Malawi’s laws do not allow inter-country adoption. Those NGOs are contesting the adoption in court and the case was to proceed in the Lilongwe High Court on 13 November. International media crews are camped out Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital, to hear the outcome of the hearing.

"Acceptance, love, esteem, many-sided and united material, emotional and educational and spiritual concern of every child that comes in to this world should always constitute a distinctive, essential characteristics of all Christians, in particular of the Christian family," reads the statement.

Madonna has also reportedly pledged pay US$3 million to construct a new orphanage.

The human rights’ organizations that went to court to block the adoption of the boy also drew the wrath of some Malawians. Apart from arguing that the law does not provide for cross-boarder adoption opponents of such groups the contesting NGOs also argue that Madonna decided to adopt the boy for a publicity stunt, arguing if she wanted to help the boy she could leave him in the orphanage that was caring for him and allow him to grow among his own people while providing him with financial support.

In another development the adoption sparked a showing of rare unity between Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika and John Tembo, a bitter opponent, who heads the Malawi Congress Party. Both politicians praised Madonna for adopting the David, whose two brothers had died before him in their infancy, according to their father, Yohane Banda.

Meanwhile Real Madrid soccer star and former England captain David Beckham told the BBC programme Focus on Africa on 9 November that he wants to assist AIDSs orphans in Malawi.

(c) Ecumenical News International