Celibacy, sexual abuse and other stories

Casmir Igbokwe

Published in SUNDAY PUNCH, March 28, 2010

PENULTIMATE Sunday, worshippers at Saint Francis Catholic Church, Idimu, Lagos, heard what many considered a funny story. According to the story, a parishioner took another man‘s wife to a hotel to catch some fun. No sooner had they settled down at their rendezvous than some kidnappers struck. They took the man away and demanded N5m ransom.

The culprit‘s wife does not have this kind of money. Though shocked, she still summoned courage to meet and plead with the husband of her man‘s concubine to release her husband. Obviously, she thought the man engineered her hubby‘s abduction. That one denied any knowledge of the incident. Not knowing where else to go, this woman decided to approach the church for help.

Hence, a church official made an important announcement. Those who wished to help the woman, he reportedly said, should come forward with their freewill donation. Some hissed. Some giggled.

However, the following Sunday, the tale bearer returned to the parish to announce that the story was fabricated.

Of recent, there has been an increase in the number of sexually-related stories in the Catholic Church. Some of these stories revolve around priests. For instance, a few weeks ago, this newspaper carried a report about the liaison between the erstwhile parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Coker, Lagos, and a young lady, who is now married.

The relationship, which was not known to anybody then, produced a child. Somehow, the lady, with the help of another senior priest, gave out the child for adoption. The scandal broke when, a few years after marriage, this young lady and her husband decided to look for their ‘son‘.

In 2008 and 2009, two separate reports detailed cases of child abuse by priests in Ireland. The church was accused of not responding appropriately to the abuse claims. For this, the bishop in charge of Cloyne Diocese, where the incidents largely took place, John Magee, resigned. Last week, the Pope accepted his resignation.

In many other parts of Europe, priests also stand accused of sexual misconduct. In the United States, the church had spent about $2bn to settle similar cases of sexual abuse against priests a few years ago.

The frequency of these occurrences has put to question the relevance of the celibacy rule of the Catholic Church. Some ordained priests had actually renounced their priesthood just because they needed a woman beside them. As some Nigerians are wont to say, bodi no be wood.

It is pertinent to note that marriage may still not stop a man with high libido from ogling or dating other women. There are many cases to buttress this fact. The alleged affair between former US President, Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky nearly marred Clinton‘s Presidency. Golf star, Tiger Woods, is just recovering from the disgrace that trailed his extramarital affairs.

When this type of scandal breaks, the tendency is to cast stones at the victim. But in apportioning blame, we forget that as humans, nobody is above that type of temptation. It is worse if you are a successful or famous man. Women will continue to come in different ways and for different purposes.

These days, it is no longer news that some of these women walk the streets half naked. I see all sorts anytime I decide to take an evening stroll along Allen/Opebi Road in Lagos. What remains is for some of them to showcase their G-strings on the roads. Some will ask you ”how far” as if you have any business relationship with them.

It is this same Opebi that plays host to some popular strip clubs in Lagos. In November last year, men of the Lagos State Task Force on Environment and Special Offences raided these clubs and forced them to close down. Now, they are said to be back in business. The patrons are even said to be happy to pay higher to satisfy their urge. TheNEWS magazine of March 22, 2010, reported that a lap or table dance attracted a fee of N3000. There is no need describing what a lap dance means here.

To prevent me from falling to the temptation of the opposite sex, my wife decided to do a special prayer for me a few days ago. It‘s the type of prayer some Christians call massaging. She asked me to lie naked on the bed. Like a baby, I obliged since I needed the massage anyway. While she prayed and massaged me with olive oil, I kept changing positions for maximum effect. ”I will never share my body with any woman,” she prayed, concentrating her action on my nether regions.

This invigorated me as it came after a stressful production. Even as I said amen to her prayers, I had to reassure her that all was well. Women need such reassurance from time to time. Men and children also need to be reassured from time to time.

On a larger scale, our leaders need to reassure us that they mean well for this country. A situation where some renegades slaughter our women and children like rams does not give assurance. A situation where many people do not know where the next meal will come from does not inspire confidence and patriotism in the people. And a situation where even Sudan has started deporting Nigerians calls for sober reflection.

But let‘s not deviate. We have cried over the killings in Jos. We have spoken against the disappearance of our President, Umaru Yar‘Adua, for months now. We have been reaping dead bodies from accident scenes with curses on those who collected money to repair our roads but failed to do so.

Today, we must relax our muscles and make ourselves happy. If you have a wife, please ask her to give you a massage. Believe me, it relaxes the nerves. If you don‘t have, discipline yourself so that nobody will ever think of kidnapping you from a hotel room.

1 Comment »

  1. 1
    Chukwuma, london Says:

    I wouldnt want to start defending my church-Catholic from all these political and religious saboteurs who are writin not jst bcos they want to inform the public but for them to cast aspersions on the annointed men of God and his holy church(Catholic).God surely will fight for his church.

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