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Should Catholic priests be allowed to marry?

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Last week’s reports of the sex scandal that rocked the local Catholic diocese, culminating in the resignation of Bishop Valentine Seane, have prompted a debate around the utility of Catholic priests’ celibacy. Many people who followed details of the scandal on social media felt it was high time Catholic priests were allowed to marry. For decades this is the question that has been coming more often to the Catholic authority.

However, even with the sex scandals that happen all over the world, the Church maintains this is not an easy decision to make. The fact that one becomes a priest by choice knowing that they are not allowed to marry settles the argument. It is believed that these ordinances have kept the church, priests, and parishioners very strong for thousands of years. Meanwhile, there are mixed feelings about the issue.

Some members of the church, as well as outsiders, believe that priests need to experience and understand fully the challenges that families go through if they are to support them through life’s difficulties. However, many Catholic priests struggle with celibacy, which affects their ministry and spiritual growth. In February 2013, Pope Benedict shocked the Catholic Church members when he resigned from his position as Holy See.

The resignation was unexpected and the first thing to happen in the Catholic Church. Reports reveal that Pope’s resignation was prompted by the tough decisions he had to make as the leader of the church which included confirmation that there was a so-called “gay lobby” among senior Vatican clerics. As described by Benedict, this was more accurately a clique of up to five men who had their sexuality in common but worked together for their own ends rather than pushing the cause of gay believers.

Benedict managed to remove the group from power. But he often lacked decisiveness. Benedict has made only a handful of public appearances since he retired in 2013 saying he no longer has the strength of mind or body to carry on. A local Catholic priest explains that just like Pope Benedict did after resignation, going out to pray and listen to the Lord, Seane also is going through that moment of praying and listening to the Lord. On Sunday at Christ the King Cathedral in Gaborone, the newly appointed apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Gaborone His Lordship Frank Nubuasah S.V.D. explained to the church that Seane is still a Bishop and he is now Bishop Emeritus.

He called on all members to pray for the church. “This is the time for us to seriously pray, it is our responsibility to pray for Bishop Seane,” said Nabuasah. After Seane’s resignation as the Bishop of the Diocese of Gaborone, which shocked members of the church, he was accused of having been involved in a sex scandal which resulted in the rape and abuse of the Sisters of Calvary, forcing some of them to commit abortion.

However, some members of the church have refused to buy into the sex-related accusations because for a long time, they have known Seane to live under pressure from an alleged plot to kill him, which they believe led to his decision to quit. The story within the church is that Seane was allegedly threatened by some priest who has for some time been eyeing his position.

The said priest is said to have connived with some rich people who are after the church land and view him as an obstacle towards acquiring it. Seane’s resignation came as a shock to the church members as it was the first time a Catholic Bishop in Botswana resigned.

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VACANCY: President of the UDC

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Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) President, Advocate Sidney Pilane says Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) does not have a President.

He revealed this week that UDC leader, Advocate Duma Boko was given the leadership of the coalition on a temporary arrangement. Advocate Pilane who was addressing the media this week, following the expulsion of his party from the UDC stated that in the buildup to 2014 general elections it was agreed that Advocate Boko should be presidential candidate for UDC, an arrangement that ended at the time when the UDC lost the 2014 general elections.

“It was decided that Botswana National Front (BNF) should be given the presidency so that Advocate Boko could be our presidential candidate. The late Gomolemo Motswaledi of BMD was to be his running mate. We made this arrangement in preparation to taking over state power.

So, all that has passed, we contested and lost so it is all in the past,” said the BMD leader. He stated that constitutionally, the UDC has no president because the president has to be elected during the UDC elective congress. Advocate Pilane pointed out that UDC according to the Constitution should hold its congress every three (3) years.

He stated that even all the members of UDC National Executive Committee have to be elected at the congress and as it stands, “there is no president or Vice Presidents because they were not voted into those positions.”

Advocate Pilane said instead of building the UDC brand their colleagues at Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and Botswana National Front have resorted to petty issues. He told the media that the leadership of the two parties have taught their members to insult BMD leadership and its members on social media and any other forum.

He had no kind words for the BCP, calling the party a divisive party that thrives on insults and divisive tendencies. He said the BCP leadership had encouraged its foot soldiers to use social media to insult him and members of the BMD.

According to Advocate Pilane, these are some of the things that have made the two parties remain in opposition for far too long without even coming close to toppling the ruling party. He described them as dishonest people who will plunge the country into chaos and that is why Batswana do not want to give them power.

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VIDEO: A Gaborone hotel Prophet caught in the act

Yvonne Mooka

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In a matter that closely resembles that of a South African Cabinet Minister, Melusi Gigaba’s masturbating video clip, a visiting Zimbabwean Prophet, Ronald El Melchizedek of Altar of Grace this week denied that he has been sending nudes to church sisters and demanding same from them.

In fact, the ‘man of God’ has earned himself the name, ‘Botswana’s Omotoso’ by girls that allege he has sexually exploited them. Pastor Timothy Omotoso is a Nigerian clergyman accused of sexually exploiting over 30 young girls from his church in South Africa.

“He is an Omotoso and even though they hide it at his church, some of us have received messages from him asking for our nudes. Actually, he has asked for my nudes several times,” says one church sister.

The Midweek Sun has gotten hold of a 34 seconds video clip of the youthful prophet playing with his manhood. Looking like he is in a hotel room, the man stands fully naked in a muted video that, depicts him speaking and teasing the recipient. In a standing position, he starts off by caressing his manhood, giving it a close up and ends up lying on the bed, facing up.

At least three young women say they received the video from the prophet and that he usually asks for nudes from them. One of them actually says he has been pestering her, demanding to have sex with her. “He likes to send me messages of how horny he is for me. But again, he likes asking for nudes from women.

Even married women at his church have fallen victims of his sexual harassment. I left the church because he disgusted me by doing such things yet calling himself a man of God,” she says.

The woman however says that Melchizedek, a Zimbabwean who holds services at Gaborone Hotel when he is in the country, is a man of accurate prophecies. “He moves mightily in the prophetic but he likes harassing church sisters. It is known in his church. He is married but controlled by the spirit of lust,” she says.

The Prophet responds
Melchidezek told The Midweek Sun that he was aware of the video of him doing the rounds through WhatsApp, but was quick to label the whole thing a scam.“Yes we are aware. Those are scammers from Benin who hacked into my wife’s Facebook account and phone and stole our videos and pictures. So they wanted to blackmail us and we refused, that is why they are doing that.

It is just an effort to harm the work of God but God is in control,” he told The Midweek Sun. He would not be drawn into responding to, or even discussing the allegations levelled against him by church sisters, but instead gave this reporter a mobile number of a person he said was his wife.

The said woman confirmed that the video was posted by scammers. “That was done by scammers. We have reported them to Benin police,” she said. She however would not give the name of the police station nor go into further details.

This incident follows on last week’s revelations reported by this publication, where several girls spoke anonymously about pastors, prophets and ‘men of God’who were using them sexually in church. Many were uncomfortable to reveal their names, forcing this paper to also conceal the identies of the accused churches and pastors involved in the dirty acts in the name of God.

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