The Catholic Church Must Rid Its Ranks of Sexual Predators
By Dauti Kahura
September 19, 2018
The Catholic Church, which boasts over a million followers – never mind many of them are nominal Catholics – has been undergoing a tragedy as a result of its decades-long scandals, as criminal activities by some of its prelates, are popping up into the open in some part of the world.
The year 2018 must surely be one of the nadir and sorest points of the church in its recent years, if not its annus horibilis.
And Chile, the South American longitudinal country, once as catholic as Ireland and France, is the microcosm of what has been ailing the church’s clergy and its efforts to conceal crimes perpetrated by some of its priests.
Over the past recent weeks, reports coming out of Chile on the priests' maniacal sexual escapades have left even Papa Francis flustered and flabbergasted.
Early this year, he paid a papal visit to South America, his continent of birth, sojourning in Chile, but was unable to detect the laity’s many years of lacerating pain inflicted upon by a clerical class that believed it was the custodian of the canonical law and therefore, the law unto itself.
This week, Papa Francis was so angry with one of the most notorious sexual pests – a priest who molested altar boys as well as other church going catholic boys – that he banned him from the precincts of any catholic church anywhere.
Not even the punishment of penance and prayer was fit for him!
MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS
''What kind of men do the Catholic Church accept into its seminaries to study to be priests?'' posed a Vatican-based archbishop last week, I suspect, exasperated by all these sexual scandals swirling around the church.
''Papa must act tough and rid the church of these scandalous, unworthy miscreants, who have visited upon the church of Christ their debased sexual sickness,'' he said.
The Chile clergy, just like its counterpart in the USA and most recently in Germany, which was also recently busted for its sexual misadventures, had indeed gone overboard.
The question the archbishop from the Vatican posed, is one that has also boggled my mind for a very long time.
I have known many Catholic priests – the good, the bad and the wicked – over many years of my association with them. The good have become my friends, the bad, I have distanced myself from them, and I have run away from the wicked.
A CASE IN POINT
How do you explain this? Recently in Chile, 400 km north of Santiago, a lone nun was going about her duties when a randy priest sneaked in and started groping her.
As providence would have it, her mobile phone rang and thinking on her feet, she hurriedly told the sex pest that the mother superior was calling her.
This prompted the priest to release her upon which she fled for safety. Thank God, this incident happened in the era of the mobile phone – had the phone not rung, possibly she would be narrating a different story.
Soon after that ordeal, 23 nuns of the nun’s congregation who invariably had had a narrow escape from the priest, ran away from their convent.
I would not be surprised if the priest who was expelled by the Pope is the same one that had been sexually terrorising the neighbouring convent sisters.
The Vatican has suspended five bishops and 15 priests, and closed 45 parishes, all from Santiago, the capital city, which hosts the largest archdiocese.
Last week, Pope Francis summoned the Chile conference of bishops, even as he deals with the mess in the US, Ireland and Germany.
The Catholic Church must clean up the rot by dealing even more firmly with rogue priests, some of whom I am sure Papa, like his fellow Vatican priests, is wondering how on earth they ended up in the seminaries.