Two Bishops Of Roman Catholic Church In Liberia Accused Of Homosexuality

Loyalists of the Roman Catholic Churches in Liberia have been greeted with condemnation from the general public and other religious groups following a startling revelation by one of its Priests that the Church in Liberia is engulfed with homosexuality.

Recently, a Priest of the Church Father Gabriel Sawyer accused two of the renowned catholic clerics, including the current Archbishop, J. Lewis Zeigler and Bishop Andrew Karnley of being homosexuals.

This revelation by Father Sawyer drew the attention of hundreds of Christians in Liberia, who are pondering over such allegation, while others terming this issue as a tradition of the Catholic churches around the world including the Vatican the home of the Roman Catholics.

According to report, the Priest made this disclosure recently in his testimony via email sent to the spiritual father of the Catholic churches around the world, Pope Francis and a registered mail to the Vatican and to Reverend Monsignor Dagoberto Campos Salas, the Apostolic Nuncio [Vatican’s Ambassador] to West African (Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone).

In a letter date August 15, 2018 and addressed to, [the Papal Ambassador] Sawyer insisted that the two men who are in very powerful leadership positions had been after him for years.

“I have been constantly and systematically molested for over 14 years by the two clergy men mentioned above. These psychological and mental molestations came as a result of my refusal to have sexual intercourse with the names mentioned above,” Sawyer said.

Referring to a particular occurrence between him and Bishop Karnley, Sawyer penned that one of the church’s most reverend men sexually assaulted him.

“His action reached its climax one night when I was in my room between sleep and awake. I felt his warm hands pressing against my chest and his mouth was reaching for mine when I woke up in dismay. Father started pleading with me to have sex but I strongly resisted him that night and told him if he did not get out I will shout and report him to Msgr. Jubwe (the Rector at the time).”

Father Sawyer alleged that he has suffered these assaults from Bishop Karnley for almost 2 decades beginning from his days as a seminarian, noting that these assaults did not stop even after Bishop Karnley left the Archdioceses of Monrovia where he [Sawyer] works. Karnley is not the only the person, Sawyer also claimed that Archbishop Zeigler himself attempted to sexually assault him.

“It all turned for the worst on one tasteless afternoon when the Archbishop told me that I was looking nice and he loves me. I was sitting right by him on a bench just outside the rectory of Christ the King Parish when we went to honor our regular Palm Butter Lunch when he said those words. I thought for a while it was a compliment coming my way from my shepherd but when he added that I should make time available to visit him at his house then I realize that it was something else.” Father Sawyer narrated.

Sawyer furthermore alleges that because he has suffered for many at the hands of the Archbishop for refusing sex with him, and said since than the Archbishop has been using his power to harass him.

“He wanted revenge for my refusal of his sexual advances. Even once I was sick. I asked for leave to go to Ghana for treatment he refused to let me go.” Father Gabriel Sawyer continued.

Father Sawyer later met with the Nuncio and another senior clergy member in person demanding action. Reverend Campos Sala said he had little to do with domestic matters and only the Vatican could launch an investigation. After this meeting Fr. Sawyer destitute and afraid for his life, married a friend for protection.

“I had to get marry to protect my own life. Once the information got out they were sending me threatening messages. I am the first person to speak out on these homosexuality and sex abuse charges. And these things have hunted the church for years. I felt it is time someone speaks out about them,” Sawyer said.

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About Cholo Brooks 14446 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.