Nuns fall pregnant while on charity work in Africa
Reports of two Catholic nuns in Sicily, Italy, who are under investigation after becoming pregnant while on missionary work in Africa, has further dented the image of the church, whose priests have repeatedly been accused of being sex pests.
The two, who are from Africa, are said to have been sent for charity work to their home continent and when they returned to Sicily, they developed symptoms whose tests turned positive for pregnancy.
The two add to the growing list of Catholic clergymen and women who engage in sexual relations, sometimes with minors, against their chastity vows.
“It appears that both women were back in their home nations and obviously had some form of sexual encounter. An investigation has been launched. They both breached strict rules of chastity but the welfare of their children is uppermost,” reports The Sun, a UK tabloid.
According to media reports, one of the nuns, 34, tested positive for pregnancy at a hospital in Satant Agata di Militello where she went after developing persistent abdominal pains.
The second nun, reported to be from Madagascar, is said to be one month into the pregnancy.
Interestingly, according to the Italian press, she held the position of Mother Superior and was based at an institute that helps “fallen women and their children.”
In 2014, a 31-year-old nun in Rieti, Italy gave birth to a baby boy. Reportedly, she had no idea she was pregnant. She discovered she was expecting a baby when she went to hospital with abdominal pains, which she thought were stomach cramps.
There have been many cases of Catholic priests fathering children, with some of the cases covered up, sometimes with the help of the church’s top leadership.
Vatican is currently investigating claims by a Kenyan man that he is the son of an Italian missionary priest, who he claims impregnated his mother when she was 16.
Gerald Erebon, from Samburu claims to be the son of Father Mario Lacchin, an 83-year-old Italian priest of the Consolata Missionaries, who ministered in Archer’s Post in the 1980s. The priest has denied the claims.
Last year, the Catholic church leadership was on the spot for allegedly covering up for a priest at the Kambaa Parish in Githunguri, Kiambu county who was accused of having sexual relations with young women, some of whom he helped to procure abortion when they became pregnant.
In one incident, the priest reportedly gave a woman who was expecting his baby Sh40,000 to terminate the pregnancy.
The youthful priest was accused of turning his official residence into a “brothel” and an entertainment joint where he played host to young women.
In September last year, John Cardinal Njue, who is the archbishop of Nairobi, and auxiliary Bishop David Kamau suspended the priest to pave way for investigations.
In another case, Fr Benard Masinde of Kipsaina Parish in Trans Nzoia county, is fighting to clear his name in court where he is charged with attempting to defile a 11-year-old girl in September last year.
According to the minor’s mother, she had sent her daughter to the shopping centre to buy kerosene but she took too long to return.
“I decided to go and look for her at the trading centre only to find her inside a vehicle parked at the road with the priest who was half naked,” she said.
In Kitui, Father Japheth Mwove Kimanzi, who was then serving at Nuu Catholic Parish in Kitui Diocese, was accused of impregnating a student and attempting to kill her and her baby in a bid to cover up his actions.
A recent report says internal documents from six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania, United States, show that more than 300 “predator priests” have been credibly accused of sexually abusing more than 1,000 child victims.
While on a trip of the Middle East in February, Pope Francis admitted that priests have been sexually abusing nuns and even keeping them as sex slaves.