NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 29 – The Roman Catholic Church has been challenged to embrace reforms as one way of reducing the sexual abuse scandals that have rocked the church in recent months.
Reverend Godfrey Shiundu, who leads a break-away faction of catholic priests who have broken the celibacy vow, said on Sunday that the Church needs to be honest with itself and allow change that would see members shun immorality and accept the married state of priests and other religious people.
“This is the right time for Rome to go back to its consciousness and say yes we goofed and bring this change,” said the Ecumenical Catholic Church of Christ Principal Consecrator adding that a priest who had a family ‘would respect himself and preach in fear.’
Rev Shiundu who was excommunicated from the Catholic Church in 2004 said many priests are living hypocritical and sinful lives which are leading to an increase in broken homes and the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.
“The priests don’t want to associate themselves with women and to save face they walk with young men or boys who will not cause suspicion. At the end of the day, they molest these boys and this is what is coming up now,” he said adding that the sex scandals were not uncommon in Kenya.
He therefore called on the Bishops in Kenya to stop hiding their heads in the sand and openly talk about the issue instead of blaming those who have decided to break away from the church.
Speaking during the consecration of the Most Reverend Dr Mathhew Theuri, the priest said the membership of the church, which is a splinter group, is growing rapidly as it provides an alternative to thousands of Christians who want to do things differently.
Rev Shiundu is still regarded as a ‘rebel’ but with the increasing membership, he expressed optimism that the Catholic Church would appreciate and accept them.
“I’m no longer rogue as they call me. This is a real church, we are whole priests, we are servants of God and we are not fighting anybody. We are just saying that we want to serve God in holiness and in purity,” he added.
Meanwhile, Rev Shiundu expressed his church’s support for the proposed Constitution terming it a good document that would lead Kenyans to a path of growth and prosperity.
While acknowledging that there could be some contentious issues, he urged Kenyans to adopt it as it is and make any amendments later.
“We don’t support abortion at all but the law is very clear but why don’t we support this draft, let it go through and give Kenyans what they have been yearning for for 20 years,” he said and called on politicians to put their differences aside and give the country a new constitution.