Following the admission by Pope Francis that the Roman Catholic Church is dogged with pedophilia, rape, sex slavery and forced abortions, the church leadership in Malawi cannot stand on the high moral ground to oppose abortion law reforms, writes KENZO F. MIKOKO
Startling revelation from the Pope! Pedophilia. Rape. Sex slavery. And forced abortions in the church. Lustful bishops and priests commit all these. The sexual rot in the church is disgusting, according to Pope Francis.
I like Pope Francis. His honesty too! Unlike some church leaders who cover up sexual abuses, the Pope is different. He has openly admitted the problem. He has actually labelled some immoral cardinals, bishops and priests as "tools of Satan."
Sexual scandals have not spared the Catholic Church in Malawi. Remember the scandal of Father Maurice Kalino and Anita Phiri, the nun who were caught red-handed making love inside a tinted saloon car at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe.
Remember the arrest of Father Francis Ngalande in Ntchisi who allegedly raped a 16 year-old girl. Then in Dedza, remember the arrest of Rev. Fr. Andrew Timpuza who was sexually-caressing a 17-year old girl.
There are plenty scandals around about priests.
Rewind. Let's go back to December 6, 2016.
Dressed up in their purple wool choir cassocks trimmed in crimson silk, together with purple silk rabats, purple stockings, and black shoes, Catholic bishops and priests led in street protests against abortion law reforms in Malawi.
The demonstrations had one core agenda - to oppose the enactment of the proposed Termination of Pregnancy Bill. This is bill that once enacted will save lives of many women and girls who die due to unsafe abortions. It will also benefit girls and nuns who are raped and defiled by priests as they will be seeking safe abortion services in hospitals.
Strangely during the protests, the clergy failed to admit the sexual rot in the church.
Despite the rampant sexual abuse, no single member dared to talk about the rot in the church. Up to now, the church in Malawi has never issued a statement condemning the tools of Satan amongst them.
Isn't it a paradox that while some clerics are overzealous in participating in protests against the proposed abortion law reforms, the same clerics force women and nuns they rape to induce abortions?
When priests assault minors, the church in Malawi becomes silent. When priests are caught red-handed in the act with nuns, the church leadership in Malawi is always mute.
By the way, when will the local church issue a pastoral letter condemning sexual abuses committed by its horny priests instead of wasting time marching against abortion law reforms?
As the local church plays the game of hypocrisy, there is new solace. Pope Francis honesty! His admission of the sexual abuse in the church is a great landmark.
According to Pope Francis, some lascivious bishops and priests have over the years been raping children and nuns; and to make matters worse they have been forcing the raped nuns and girls to go for bac-street abortions. As if that is not enough, the Pope revealed that some nuns are actually held as sex slaves.
For starters, the pope made the startling revelation during a four-day summit he convened at Vatican to address the problem of sexual abuses committed by the errant cardinals, bishops and priests.
"We are thus facing a universal problem, tragically present almost everywhere and affecting everyone. Yet we need to be clear, that while gravely affecting our societies as a whole, this evil is in no way less monstrous when it takes place within the Church," said the Pope.
He added: "The brutality of this worldwide phenomenon becomes all the more grave and scandalous in the Church, for it is utterly incompatible with her moral authority and ethical credibility. Consecrated persons, chosen by God to guide souls to salvation, let themselves be dominated by their human frailty or sickness and thus become tools of Satan."
During the summit, Cardinal Reinhard Marx revealed that the church deliberately hid the extent of its global sex abuse crisis by among others destroying documents and failing to compile records that could be used to prosecute the so-called holy sexual predators.
With such scandals haunting the church leadership, do the local bishops and priests have a moral ground to be holding protests against government's desire to provide access to safe abortions to its citizenry? Should the clerics - some of whom rape nuns, sodomise boys and defile girls and then force them to have abortions - be at the forefront of blocking abortion law reform process in Malawi?
In my view, government should proceed with the enactment of the proposed abortion bill for the benefit of all women and girls who desperately need such services including those raped by the holier-than-thou 'tools of Satan'.
Noise from the clergy on abortion law reform is hypocrisy.
Once again, I like Pope Francis. And his honesty too!