By Joseph Omollo
The minister of state for health in charge of general duties Sarah Achieng Opendi has faulted the increasing cases of marriage breaking and moral decay among the young generation to failure by the married couples to front themselves to be blessed before church hence continue bearing children out of adultery.
Speaking during ‘’rubi’’  years celebration for Rev. Dismus Owino in priesthood service, the Chaplin of St. Anthony Hospital Tororo on Sunday, the minister noted with concern that majority of the marriages in country have not been blessed by the clergy faulting it to be responsible for increasing cases of domestic violence.
She disclosed that available records indicate 65% of marriage relationships are just cohabiting and only 35% have formally married and wedded which illustrates high rate of adultery in the sense that these couples are not certain of the continuity of their relationships.
The minister advised married couples to be faithful to their partners saying that this one of the practice that brings peace in families as well as protecting them from incidences of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS.
The minister treated celebrants into laughter when she said she has opted to stay out of marriage relationship because she has not seen any man of her choice.
‘’Am not in any relationship, am purely single but not searching. It’s my kind request for those who have opted to marry to stop cohabiting but instead formalize your marriages’’ the minister said.
She asked the congregation to embrace health programmes especially testing for sickle cell before they marry, testing of hepatitis B and HIV/AIDS so that they are aware of their health status and in case they test positive they enroll for treatment.
She praised Rev. Owino for being one those priests in the catholic faith who have worked to ensure that the denomination continues to expand. Rev. Owino was born in 1944 and ordained a priest in 1976.
Early Rev. Bonaventure Okeya the guest preacher told the congregation that children born in un blessed marriages never get blessing throughout their lives and asked such parents to apologize before their children.
He said the church is ever read to bless any marriage such that peace prevails in such families and guide them to nurture their children to grow morally upright. Rev. Okeya added that staying in marriage with it being blessed is a sign of faint faith.
The celebration was also witnessed by the retired arch bishop of Lira arch diocese emeritus Rev. Joseph Oyanga, the prime minister of Adhola cultural institution Dr. Ojon.