Moral Low Ground


Anthony Musaala, Uganda’s ‘Dancing Priest,’ Ostracized for Exposing Clergy Sex Abuse

A popular Ugandan priest has been ostracized from the Catholic Church after exposing what he calls an ‘open secret’– the rampant sexual abuse of children by clergy members.

Earlier this year, Ghanian cardinal and papal candidate Peter Turkson raised eyebrows when he told CNN that the international clergy sex abuse scandal couldn’t happen in Africa because “African traditional systems kind of protect… its population against this tendency” and “in Africa homosexuality… [is] not countenanced in our society.”

But one African priest strongly disagrees. Anthony Musaala, a gospel music star known as the “Dancing Priest,” has been publicizing sex abuse among clergy in his native Uganda. In doing so, he’s forcing the country’s Catholic Church to confront an ugly epidemic that it says doesn’t exist.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Musaala is paying a heavy price for his crusade against abusive clergy. In March, he was suspended indefinitely by Cyprian Lwanga, the Archbishop of Kampala, to whom he’d written about priests who not only sexually abused children but who also fathered children and kept secret wives. Musaala also called for a debate on whether priests should be allowed to marry.

According to Lwanga, Musaala “damaged the good morals of Catholic believers and further expressed a wrong teaching against the Catholic Church’s teaching.”

“The Vatican turns a blind eye because it doesn’t want to be embarrassed,” Musaala told the Los Angeles Times. “But I think it’s time we had the truth.”

For Musaala, the truth is very personal. He says that he was one of many boys who were sexually abused by Catholic brothers at a church-run boarding school, one of the finest in the country. And he says that what happened to him is by no means unusual.

“Wherever you go, people know about this,” Musaala told the Times. “It’s like an open secret. People know. Nothing is ever done.”

Musaala also believes it is important to distinguish between homosexuality and same-sex clergy sex abuse.

“I’m not a victim of homosexuality, I’m a victim of child sex abuse,” he told NBS.

Archbishop Lwanga eventually admitted that clergy sex abuse is a problem in Uganda, apologized to victims and ordered in internal inquiry.

“Catholics should not get scared about what Father Musaala said because God will help us overcome it,” Lwanga said in an Easter message. But Lwanga also said that the findings of the abuse inquiry would not be made public and that the church would deal with the matter internally. And despite Lwanga’s admission, Musaala remains suspended without pay.

“The gloves are off,” Musaala told blogger Melanie Nathan. “I’ve had enough and I think that some hard truths are coming out. “Lines are being drawn for this battle against [clergy] abuse and the power abuse of the Catholic hierarchy.”

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One Comment

  1. NdiwabeneJune 15, 2013 at 9:37 amReply

    In case you did not know, the Church is pursuing a path to weed out this vice. When he visited Australia during his tenure, the Pope Emeritus Benedict 16 said we should report sexually abusive clerics DIRECTLY to the police as we would with anyone else. It is true more emphasis has been put on protecting the image of the Church than on protecting the vulnerable and ministering to the victims. Benedict XVI also mandated each Diocese and each parish should develop and implement policies designed to
    protect the vulnerable. So, Catholics, lets all ask our Parish Councils and Parish Priests what policies they have in place.

    The investigation announced by the Archbishop can be accessed via your Parish Priest. If you get no joy go to the Ecclesial Court at Lubaga Cathedral next to the museum and ask for Fr Andrew Kato Kasirye).If you prefer you can also go to the Papal Nuncio (ambassador) at Mbuya (opposite the barracks). Just tell them what it is about and you will be seen.

    Another thing you do not know is that when allegations were made against Father M. in 2009 he was put under investigation. The Bishop’s decisions following that process are the trigger for his outburst.

    See this brief piece on Youtube.

    I cannot vouch for its accuracy but the producer says his father is called Alexander Basima and in 2012 he gave his address as

    1 Lancefield House, Nunhead Lane Peckham Rye SE15 3UB London UK.

    See also his sister Dorothy Musaala’s comments on Youtube.

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