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Abbi Smith
 
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Open season on priests

21 February 2014, 12:44

What a sad day for the Roman Catholic Church when a priest of Pretoria was arrested after an accusation of alleged misconduct.

Yes, a priest is a symbol of Christianity, but so is the cross and so is the church. What a pity though that no one looks beyond what is symbolic to what is human and real. This priest is a man, as was Jesus of Nazareth, as is the Chancellor to the Archbishop, Fr. Mphiwe.

They are living human beings just like you and I. This man, the priest has been alleged to have made an indecent suggestion to a 17 year old young man. Not a "child", as the emotive language of the accusers tends to describe him.

Do you happen to know the accused man? Do you happen to know that this slightly built Father has dedicated his life to God, his church and flock? Have you ever lost someone at three in the morning with your priest standing beside you in hospital, serving last rites to you loved one?

Have you ever heard this man pray?

Do you happen to know the accuser who, with the encouragement of Fr. Mphiwe, (News24: 2014-02-17) lodged his complaint with the South African Police? Have you happened to notice how politics infiltrate every aspect of human life?

If you were to be a priest, and a teenager had to accuse you, how would you handle it?

It is his word against yours.

The accuser and his family are not even sure as to where the alleged incident was supposed to have taken place. The facts are that neither the confessional, nor the church houses facilities to watch a DVD on. (Sexual or otherwise)

According to law, a person is considered innocent until proven guilty. This man, just like Jesus, was condemned without ever being proven guilty. That case is still to be made at some unknown date in April 2014.

Dear Reader, I ask you to look at this case in a greater context. This is not about a white bishop taking a black pawn in a game of chess. This is about a man whose life is being destroyed by a greater majority.

Please don't add your voice to it. Give the man a fair hearing. This could so easily have been you.

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