Zimbabwe: bishop explains silence on persecuted priest

 A Zimbabwean bishop has defended his silence on the harassment of a priest in his diocese, saying that speaking out "would put many lives in danger". Irish-born Fr Patrick Kelly, 60, is in hiding after seven members of President Robert Mugabe's militia of 'war veterans' drove him out of his parish in Mutare Diocese in Eastern Zimbabwe on 17 August. In the weeks before, he was interrogated three times by the secret police. Fr Patrick said they accused him of supporting the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. Speaking publicly for the first time, Bishop Alexio Muchabaiwa of Mutare said: "We are investigating the matter, but it is a very sensitive issue, and one has to be very careful in matters of this nature, otherwise you are putting many lives in danger." A St Patrick's Missionary Society priest, Fr Patrick, who comes from Tubbercurry, went to Zimbabwe in 1998. Before that he spent 27 years as a missionary in southern Kenya. Source: Catholic News Service Africa

Share this story