Sunday, August 28, 2005

Clergy calls for truth

Clergy Calls for Truth Body

The Nation (Nairobi)
August 28, 2005
Posted to the web August 28, 2005

Nyabonyi Kazungu

The Government should set up a truth and reconciliation commission to probe unresolved murders and individuals accused of looting public coffers, the Catholic Church said yesterday.

The Church also called for the release of the Akiwumi report on ethnic clashes.

Bishop Peter Kairo, the Chairman of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, made the demands at Ngong's Embul Bul Parish where faithful and human rights activists marked Fr John Anthony Kaiser's fifth anniversary. The late priest testified before the Akiwumi Commission but his testimony was allegedly expunged from the report.

Bishop Kairo of Nakuru Diocese and retired Bishop Davies Collins of Ngong Diocese led yesterday's celebrations. The occasion was also attended by priests, nuns and faithful from different dioceses across the country.

Pope Benedict XVI, in a message sent through his representative, the Apostolic Nuncio Alain Paul Lebeaupin, described the late Fr Kaiser as a priest who lived his priesthood with a spirit of self-denial up to the end.

"He was very compassionate to his parishioners in all their suffering, and in a special way, the homeless, the hungry and the weak," the Pope said.

Bishop Kairo said Fr Kaiser's death had taught the Church a lot. The priest's heroic acts, said the bishop, showed how a country should defend people's rights.

He urged the Government to defend the rights of the homeless and victims of sexual violence.

"Let us pray for all those who have fought for the truth and died for that course," he said in his homily.

The Church was worried by the fact that the Inquest into Fr Kaiser's death five years ago had taken too long.

"I know the case is in court but the question I ask, did he really commit suicide? Those who went there and found him lying and left side of the head blown up, did he really kill himself? Even if it takes us three or four years from now, we will continue being anxious to know the truth," he said.

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