Kenyan bishops speak on anniversary of death of Fr John Kaiser

(There is a glitch in the ICN archives which gives an incorrect date on the headline page of  some older stories.)

The Kenya Episcopal Conference has issued a statement on the forthcoming second anniversary of the death of Mill Hill Missionary Fr John Kaiser. Fr John was found dead at Morendat, on the Naivasha-Nairobi road, with a gunshot wound to the back of his head on 24 August, 2000.

His shotgun was next to the body, and his pick-up truck had been abandoned in a ditch, nearby. He was 72. In April 2001, the American Federal Bureau of Investigation declared that Fr John had committed suicide.

The Catholic Bishops rejected the verdict, and called for an inquest, which so far has not been granted by the Kenyan government. For years Fr John campaigned for his parishioners rights to land, and other human rights issues. In their statement the bishops invite all to attend a special Memorial Mass at 10.30am tomorrow in Naivasha.

The Mass will be preceded by a procession beginning from St Francis Xavier Catholic church, Naivasha and and an all-night vigil at the spot where Fr John was killed. Kenyan musician Eric Wainaina will perform a tribute song: Ukweli. Politicians, diplomats and others are expected to attend. The bishops write: 'The Kenya Episcopal Conference and all people of goodwill wish to remember not only the excellent personality of the late Fr Kaiser, but also what he lived, believed in and died for... 'On 27 April 2001, the Catholic Bishops of Kenya issued a statement rejecting the FBI report and on the 26 June 2001 the Bishops issued an official request to the Attorney-General Amos Wako to hold an inquest into the circumstances surrounding the death of Fr Kaiser.

This year the Bishops revisited the issue with the Attorney General. As we continue to wait for the response from the Attorney General, we hope that justice and truth will prevail. The Bishops of Kenya invite all to show our togetherness and to turn out in great numbers for this special Memorial Mass. 'May the courage and commitment of Fr John Kaiser and others who gave their lives for our country Kenya, inspire us to continue the struggle for a just and peaceful world.' Yours sincerely in Christ, Rev Fr Vincent Wambugu Secretary-General

Source: Catholic Information Service Africa

Share this story