Ugandan Priest Suspended for Revealing Child Abuse

For those who thought maybe the Catholic Church had finally managed to put its problems with priestly child abuse behind it, think again. They’ve now suspended a Ugandan priest who revealed a couple months ago that the African church has the same problem with pedophilia as the American and European churches do.

In going public, Anthony Musaala has forced the Roman Catholic Church in Uganda to confront a problem it had insisted didn’t exist. And he may stir a debate far beyond Africa’s most Catholic of countries.

The Ugandan priest has been suspended indefinitely by the archbishop of Kampala for exposing what he calls an open secret: Sex abuse in the Catholic Church is a problem in Africa as well as in Western Europe and North America.

The African Catholic Church is fast-growing, pious and traditional. As the church elsewhere forks out billions of dollars to compensate the child sex abuse victims of priests, few African Catholics have questioned the assumption, voiced recently by Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, that the African church is purer than its counterpart in the West, which is regarded as secular and permissive.

It’s not more pure, says Musaala. He says he has the evidence to prove it.

“The Vatican turns a blind eye because it doesn’t want to be embarrassed about this blooming church. But I think it’s time we had the truth,” Musaala says.

Musaala was himself the victim of abuse by a priest when he was a boy. This is a major test for the new pope, I think. If he actually represents any change on this issue, he should suspend the archbishop and reinstate Musaala.

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  • You’d almost think the archbishop thought that preserving the church’s image was more important than seeing that justice was done and the victims compensated.

    Ironically, doing the latter would surely be better for the church’s image. Providing institutional cover for sexual abuse of children isn’t exactly good press.

  • hunter

    “If he actually represents any change on this issue, he should suspend the archbishop and reinstate Musaala.”

    I’m not going to hold my breath.

  • angrymudcrab

    Nice, try to do the right thing, get punished for it. By their fruits shall ye know them indeed.

  • Alverant

    Dang, hunter beat me to it. I will be extremely surprised if the pope does anything more than metaphorically giving the archbishop a lashing with a wet noodle.

  • But the noodle will be wet from HOLY water, so that will make it a meaningful cleansing ritual of pennance.

    Seriously, all the last Pope had to offer was a lot of mealy-mouthed promises of pennance and soul-searching and re-examination. The Church can’t promise anything more than that without flatly admitting that religious institutions totally failed and the only real solutions come from secular law and secular institutions. So no, I don’t expect the new guy to offer anything better — except maybe some muttering about how this sort of thing didn’t happen under the Argentine dictatorship.

  • timberwoof

    Isn’t pederasty what the Ugandan government is trying to blame on gay people so they can kill them?

    “except maybe some muttering about how this sort of thing didn’t happen under the Argentine dictatorship.” … and we’ll stop protecting you if you say otherwise.

  • alwayscurious

    Anthony Musaala should be promoted to archbishop–the other guy should be defrocked. Alas, the everflowing fount of forgiveness will surely strike again.

  • Look, you’re blowing this all out of proportion. This is just an aberration. The problem has been dealt with, new protocols are in effect for future protection, greater oversight has been brought in over the issue, and Anthony Musaala will never hurt the reputation of the Roman Catholic church ever again.

  • Let’s also see if Dick to the Dawks sticks to his recent “just sayin'” suggestion of supporting Christian hegemony in Africa to keep the Muslims from taking over.

  • gmacs

    …the African church has the same problem with pedophilia child molestation as the American and European churches do.

    Fixed that for you. Pedophilia is the sexual attraction to children that is not the fault of those who suffer from it. Child molestation is the act of committing sexual acts on a child.

    How can we expect the former to seek help when we conflate them with the latter?

  • dingojack

    OT but the ad served to me underneath this article is for something called The Catholic Enquiry Center.

    I think the software ‘deciding’ what ad to serve up is operating on the Enemy of the State principle: ‘either you’re incredibly smart, or incredibly stupid…’


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