A Roman Catholic Priest in Zimbabwe has angered the media by boldly declaring that journalists who expose sex scandals do so “as if they too did not do the same”.
Speaking to his congregation, Father Fidelis Mukonori the outspoken priest took a swipe at journalists.
Mukonori said: “We are all sinners. Those who find pleasure in writing about other peoples’ sins are also sinners themselves. They write and say such and such a priest has been chow-chowing small children – are they not also chow-chowing too?”
Mukonori is a Jesuit priest who is also the chaplain to President Robert Mugabe and his family.
The priest made his remarks while conducting mass at the Holy Name Catholic Church in Mabelreign Sunday.
Mukonori chastised religious figures who succumbed to temptations and broke their vows of chastity saying “men of the cloth should guard against this weakness”.
He warned them that the media was watching and “ready to make money out of their sexual escapades”.
The “making money” is the aspect that has incensed journalists.
“Journalists feel insulted by Mukonori saying we are after money. In essence he says we should turn a blind eye on their disgusting activities. We wont shy away but further expose them” said Monica Ncube, a senior journalist in Zimbabwe.
Ncube said if the priest is declaring a war on the media, he and his fellow priest should “have enough ammunition to protect themselves”.
The Catholic Church in Zimbabwe has had its fair share of sex scandals in recent years.
A few years ago, the then Archbishop of Bulawayo Pius Ncube, was exposed by newspapers and television stations when he photographed and video-taped during sexual escapades with a string of women.
One of the women, Rosemary Sibanda, died a few months afterwards.
In the past six months Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second capital city has had two scandals involving priests.
Fr Cephas Gumbo of St Bernard’s Catholic Church in Pumula is being sued for $50 000 for allegedly infecting a woman with a sexually transmitted disease.
The priests have still not been disciplined.
In Germany, the birthplace of Pope Benedict XVI, paedophile scandals in which priests have abused young boys. Reports from Europe say the young generation has abandoned the Catholic Church and recent polls confirmed that overall trust in the Roman Catholic Church had hit an unprecedented low.