A conference of Catholic bishops in Malawi, has tabled homosexuality as a talking point, describing it as a “challenge” faced by families.

The Association of Member Episcopal Conference in Eastern Africa (AMECEA), began in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi on Friday.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Father Andrew Kaufa, a member of the communications team for the conference said: “The church has observed that there are a number of challenges that many families from different African countries are facing which is affecting the preaching of the gospel.

“Many rich countries are imposing strange cultures in poor nations, an issue that calls for discussion and intervention,” Fr. Kaufa said.

He continued: “As we try to search for solutions in regard to family matters, the Bishops will also pay attention to the issue of same sex which is at the helm.”

The Catholic church does not accept homosexuality, and rejects same-sex marriage.

The conference is set to finish on 26 July.

Same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Malawi with custodial sentences of up to 14 years imprisonment. but the country last week announced that it will stop arresting people for having gay sex, and will review its anti-gay laws.