A bout five Catholic priest from Metropolitan Archdiocese of Blantyre are reported to have been suspended from the church over suspicions of breaking the celibacy law.

Archbishop Thomas Msusa confirmed of the development at a media briefing held at Bishop’s house on Thursday.

“When one is on suspension, it means they have been given time to choose what they want whether to continue as a priest or not. The time one stays on suspension depends on the nature of the issue in question as there is need for thorough investigations.

“It’s not in our place as human beings to judge each other but fulfill God’s wishes of loving and forgiving one another,” he said.

Msusa further said it is rare that after suspension, a priest decides to abandon priesthood vocation as most of them repent and serve God actively through priesthood.

“I’m glad that most of the priests on suspension have shown remorse and are ready to come back. If during the suspension a priest is in need, the diocese is obliged to help since he is still our priest,” he said.

The Archbishop said, depending on what mistake has been made, the diocese has several ways of helping the priest such as involving a Psychiatrist to assess him. When a priest is on suspension, they are at times sent somewhere to attend a course whilst the diocese is investigating the issue.

Msusa further dismissed allegations that the church conceals sex scandals and denies that priests could engage in such acts saying suspensions are an indication that the church recognises that these things are real and happening.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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