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Catholic Bishops Disown Bonking Priest
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General Secretary of the National Catholic Secretariat, Very Reverend Father Nicholas Afriyie, says it cannot in any way get involved in the case of a Cameroonian Catholic Priest resident in Ghana who is entangled in a paternity case.

According to him, the said Catholic Priest, Rev Father Yves -Lucien Evaga Njana, who has diplomatic immunity, does not work with the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference.

He admits that the secretariat is fully aware of the case but was quick to add that the case falls completely out the jurisdiction of the Catholic Bishops Conference and therefore, they cannot make any interventions.

Speaking on steps to be taken to strip the accused priest of his immunity, Rev. Father Afriyie said that Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference would only intervene on the orders of a court.

“If the court calls on the conference to intervene, that is when the conference can intervene” he added.

He stated that the issue is a personal one and has nothing to do with the church.

“He is a priest but he has gone against the church and so anything that he does is a personal thing. It is not a public thing that the church should go and say we are defending you. No. He did it on his own personal accord and so, if anything at all, he has to defend himself,” he argued. 

However, Human rights lawyer, Mr Francis Xavier Sosu criticised the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference for its deafening silence on the issue of the Cameroonian priest and diplomat who is alleged to have fathered a child but is refusing responsibility.

 According to the lawyer, the Catholic Bishops Conference owes it a moral duty to ensure that the priest at the centre of paternity allegations is subjected to the tenets of the law.

He observed that ever since the issue came to light, the once vocal Catholic Bishops Conference, which preaches uprightness in society, has suddenly gone into oblivion. 

This, according to him, smacks of unfairness and hypocrisy, especially when they have been vocal on other issues of national importance. 

 “The Catholic Bishops Conference must bow their heads in shame for not making any direct comment on the issue as at now,” he said.

Lawyer Sosu explained that the National Bishops Conference must be seen to attach the same importance to the protection of the vulnerable people in society as they do to other issues of national importance.

 He noted further that the child at the centre of the controversy has the right to a father and a name, and it behoves the Catholic Bishops Conference to ensure that the immunity of Rev Father Yves -Lucien Evaga Njana is waived, for him to be subjected to a paternity test to ascertain the father of the child.

An Accra Family Court has directed that the action that was brought against the Catholic priest be served on the Foreign Ministry through the Chief Protocol Office for them to apply to the Biblical Centre for Africa and Madagascar (BICAM), the organisation the priest works with, for his immunity to be waived so he can appear before the court.

Lawyer Sosu contends that the ball lies in the court of BICAM to waive the immunity of the priest so he face the law, and this, he posits, can be facilitated by the Catholic Bishops Conference.

Source: The Finder

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