Catholic priest suspended for whistle-blowing on sex abuse

In Blog, Culture, Politicsby Fedayn25 Comments


Fr. Anthony Musala

Fr. Anthony Musala

In late March the Catholic Church suspended indefinitely a Ugandan priest, Fr.Anthony Musala, who chose to blow the whistle on widespread sexual abuse of children and other crimes committed by African clergy.

Musaala’s leaked letter to Archbishop Cyprian Lwanga that cited numerous instances of wrongdoings among the Uganda priesthood, including secret wives, children and abuse of minors prompted his suspension. Musala was abused himself by a priest when he was 16yrs old, at a top Ugandan school before he went to England to seminary.

Archbishop Lwanga later confessed that child rape indeed took place and launched an inquiry into the matter. The announcement came amid another scandal that brew up after South African Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban told the media he had dealt with similar abuse cases that were handled internally by the Roman Catholic Church and were never reported to the police.

Africa’s Catholic priests fathering children is an open secret, many local church-goers admit it but talking about it is a taboo. The church has accused Musala of being homosexual to deflect from his criticisms. Homosexuality seems to be a more serious taboo than rape from the tone of the interview.

The following lengthy interview is taken from ‘Morning Breeze’ of NBSTelevision Uganda. One of the interviewers is quite combative but it’s worth bearing with. Musala tells tales of Catholic priests having sex with a young Ugandan relative who was raped by two priests and became pregnant and had to have an abortion. Further stories include tales of priests with many children from different women.



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  1. Yep I’ve been waiting for this can of worms to pop…South America too

  2. Lads, it’s not a contest where one continent is somehow more backward and disgusting than another. It’s the exact same abuse being covered up in exactly the same way by the same people at the top of the chain.
    This article only references Uganda, Africa is a massive continent and the kind of language you’re using to tagline adds to the image of ‘Africa’ (the country?) being some depraved faceless mass of savagery. Plz check the language you use and make sure it highlights who is actually responsible here, not ‘Africans’ (again, roughly a billion diverse individuals) but the Catholic church.

    1. I don’t know how this is relevant. First of all, it mentions more than one country, and if you have been following the news the past 5 years, you will know for a fact that the African Catholics are probably the most abusive sect of Catholicism in the modern world.

      I don’t think this is trying to characterise Africa as ‘some depraved faceless mass of savagery’, no one even hinted at that. I’m afraid that maybe you didn’t even read the story before commenting. This story is an attack on Catholicism. If someone had said ‘America’ (read USA or North America, or North and South America), I’m not so sure you’d be quick to point out that there are lots of states there, or different countries, with many different laws and cultures.

      No one said Africans are to blame and I fear you’re taking away from the issue without even realising it. I TOTALLY understand your concerns, but lets worry about gay-bashing (or murder), child-rape and lunatic, authoritarian Catholics. Also, as I said before, if you look into worthy news-coverage of Catholicism in Africa, you will see where the money is coming from. Africa is not the issue, but it is where it is, and no matter how much you tweak your use of language, the place is still called what it’s called.

      *Hope this is not too ass-hole Lou*

      Fuck religion.

    2. Fr Musaala speaks about many different countries that he and colleagues have worked in and heard accounts from; our third paragraph includes the account of systematic abuse in South Africa as well.

  3. I don’t think its a competition or anyone is casting aspersions towards Africa or south America, but it is well known that a lot of problem priests were sent there when thier perversions were getting out of control and becoming harder to conceal.

  4. This article also references South Africa (3rd paragraph) where a major scandal broke recently. In the video Father Musaala mentions an Africa-wide problem, citing cases from around Uganda and further afield. We certainly didn’t use the word ‘savagery’. Have to respond to this as it makes us appear racist in some way and is also incorrect – have a revision of the blogpost and listent to the video. Thanks Lou Walker

  5. I had no idea the article cited TWO places?! Uganda and ‘South Africa’ (again, an extremely specific beautiful country)
    I was literally just saying that your phrasing has negative implications, and was explaining the wider effects. It’s really sound of you guys to take my comment really literally and not in any way examine whether you did accidentally imply that the Catholic Church in Africa is somehow different and inherently worse than it’s European counterpart.
    ‘Did we say Africans were savage? Nope. You’re wrong, BOOM’.
    It’s the same church dudes. All I was asking is that you don’t make massive sweeping generalizations about a continent. And I didn’t say you were racist, you guys just said that you appear racist. So you know, maybe something to mull over.

  6. I dont like that this article sounds like its a competition between 2 continents. child sex abuse is a gross thing happening within the catholic religion and while it’s important to point out the countries in the continents that the abuses are happening in, it’s very awkward to read lines like ”the Catholic Church in Africa will put Europe’s sex abuse scandals in the shade” and ”crimes committed by the African clergy”.
    the guy’s Ugandan. He’s from Africa. For some reason, when you talk about Irish religious abuse scandals, it’s never ”crimes committed by the european priest/clergy”. you always state their nationality or the specific region they’re from. you never generalize since, europe’s a massive place.

    I support rabble and gave whatever money I could to you guys at the bookfair, but im not going to support lazy writing that generalises a gigantic continent and puts it in contest with another continent when the main point is the evils that catholic religion does.

  7. Sorry but people seem to be missing everything that is said in the article and not listening to the priest in the interview. He talks at length about abuses in the catholic church throughout Africa and not just in Uganda. The article references a case in South Africa.

    Many commentators globally have been pointing towards the under-reported, and still ongoing abuses of the Catholic Church in ‘Africa’ and it is believed by many that it could well put the now well-documented cases throughout Europe in the shade, even if just because of the populations.

    I really don’t understand why people think this is lazy, racist or anything else we’re getting called here. We’ve similarly written about the church in North and South America and in Australia as well as other churches and abuses elsewhere.

  8. Did you write that ‘The Catholic Church in Australia will put Europe’s sex abuse scandals in the shade’? Or the US will put Europe in the shade?
    I really like rabble, and I was just pointing out the phrasing for the tagline on this was negative and weird, and I was expecting the response to be ‘oh, that was a bit problematic, sorry about that’ because I thought Rabble was pretty clued in and would know about mircoaggressions and complacent language of oppression and all that other stuff. But instead there’s just this weird scramble to be like, ‘no, deffo not racist, you’re wrong’.
    But you did make a weird comparison between continents in a way that just wouldn’t be done if one of the continents wasn’t Africa, and could be sorted really easily if it was just acknowledged.

  9. Western media has a common theme of comparing the whole of Africa to a couple of countries in Europe / USA in a way that always make the latter regions seem like a haven compared, no matter what the topic is. It could be about domestic abuse, capitalism, religion, hell even child sex abuse scandals- no matter what the topic discussed, western media constantly upholds its own countries above the whole of Africa. As if its a competition. That is the issue I’m talking about.

  10. Lou, I like you, but this is inane. I don’t think you care about what people are saying, I have a feeling you didn’t even read the story. You’re basically twisting it in a way that can’t be defended ,’it just sounds racist’. Right, throw muck, you win.

    Ridiculous attitude.

    ‘But you did make a weird comparison between continents in a way that just wouldn’t be done if one of the continents wasn’t Africa’

    Lou open your eyes, rabble have slated other continents harshly, like the US. You’re so painfully missing the point of the story here. So what do you reckon then Lou, are we actually allowed to discuss/compare continents, or is it just Africa we’re not allowed to discuss?

  11. Ah now Gabriel,bit harsh on the nazis, christianity was at it hundreds of years before the Nazis

  12. organised reliogion is about control. Hence paedophiles, perverts and freaks of every description see it as a readymade haven

  13. Pingback: Africa: Catholic priest suspended for whistle-blowing | Marie-Thérèse O'Loughlin Goldenbridgeinmate39

  14. It is true the Church has tried to deal with the issues internally with the primary objective of saving face, often at the expense of the victims. It is also true Fr Musaala only spoke up after he was put under investigation for sexual misconduct in 2009/10. His outburst is a result of that judicial/administrative process. In a face-saving bid, his suspension etc were kept secret.

    This is not only a clerical problem. Please compare the figures for abusers amongst laymen (non-clergy) Apparently it is 4% to 10% for the gen. popn. It just means evil is everywhere (see Romans 3:23 saya We have all sinned and fallen short…) Having said that many people exposed to predatory missionaries went through this experience. Specifically the Brothers of Christian Instruction who run boarding schools. And you know the abused very often become abusers.

    Neither is this an exclusively Catholic issue. See the evidence,

    Baptists (not celibate)…/8150-clerg…
    Anglicans (not celibate) Study of Reported Child Sexual Abuse in the Anglican Church…/.
    Episcopalians (not celibate) Sexual Abuse in the Episcopal Church…/clergy episcopal-sex-abuse
    Hasidic Jews (not celibate) Hasidic Jews Still Have a Sex-Crime Problem — Daily Intelligencer May 2012
    Mormons (not celibate) The Growing Mormon Sex Abuse Scandal
    | Mormon Matters…/the-grow…
    Moslems (not celibate) BBC News – Stoke-on-Trent Muslim sexual abuse cleric jailed…/uk-england-s
    Just today a married Anglican was suspended for similar.

    As for the racial sub-text Lou I did not see it, but I appreciate your principles.

  15. Dear Rabble Team,

    I am disappointed you chose not to publish my comment giving background to this current scandal in Uganda. The point is the content of the accusations may be true but his motivation is not to cleanse the church. Remember is calling upon victims to contact him for help regarding sexually active (predatory) priests.

    In 2009 public allegations against Fr Musaala (and other priests) were made – others went through the official channels. He was then put under investigation. The Archbishop’s recent decisions following that process are the trigger for Fr Musaala’s outburst.

    FINALLY, see the film called Fr Anthony Musaala Scandal on YouTube or

    I cannot vouch for its accuracy but the producer says his father is called Alexander Basima and in 2012 he gave his address as
    1 Lancefield House, Nunhead Lane Peckham Rye SE15 3UB London UK.
    I read your piece on Mubiru and there was a lot in it about his abuse of position. Does this yardstick not aply to people you happen to be friends with?
    God bless you.

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  17. honestly m so furious to see priest behave so, m talking abt my experience believe me Africa priest r not well trained even when they preach.I don’t see any wrong to be involved with him we r all sinners that’s why when we pray we ask Africa priest they r on business..he fall ilove wth m looking my business money which I help him with it nd hv affair wth married woman whom u r friend of his husband.uses demands money nd material things go via woman to give money.take present from one woman to give another woman.that one is disgusting.I know 10 Africa priest who r involved with woman bt the other one was busy cheating.m busy with the case .m sorry m gonna solve myself.I want them to learn I don’t report anything again. Lesotho priest behavior r much better that Africa…I saw them full in a hall of Tsogo at Mmakau onlyAfrica priest with alcohol I couldn’t believe they was together combined drunk full of ladies like shebeen.I was shocked.I went there to fetch my cornman priest.m a widow I didn’t want marriage just company bt he was on business.I hv to say this it’s too much.

  18. South Africa woman respect priest more than anything .that’s how we grow .up nd mostly don’t understand this internet nd goggle mostly south Africa must know abt names of ppl who r doing these . m busy .I don’t regret anything we shared together happiness nd tears or the good nd the bad bt to make me stupid no .I know my wrights as a woman .if I can’t sort this out then m killing the the young one who s gonna step where I nd tv must announced this issue .when u go to church pls pray hard for urself don’t depend from priest .he s not a messenger pls .I understand.

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