The Anglican Church (ACK) of Kenya has asked one of its priests to step down for allegedly practising homosexuality.
The priest, who the church said had served in several parishes within Mt Kenya region, is accused of enticing four young men to engage in homosexuality.
The young men are said to have been spending nights with him in the vicars’ house.
The priest reportedly befriended and requested them to visit him at the church for spiritual guidance but would “seduce them and force them to engage in homosexuality.”
He is said to have pleaded with the young men not to inform anyone.
The letter of suspension was read during a Sunday service at the Nyeri St Peters Cathedral last week.
According to Mt Kenya West diocese bishop Joseph Kagunda, the church first received a complaint early last month and decided to investigate the claims before instituting disciplinary action against the priest.
The bishop said the church has formed a tribunal comprising the clergy to investigate the allegations against the priest and if it finds that the claims are true, he would be defrocked.
“Our church doctrine and the Bible teachings are against homosexual behaviour and so we cannot keep a homosexual person in our church,” said Bishop Kagunda.
He added that the priest is not the only one in Mt Kenya region, who has been linked to homosexuality. He said other priests are also being investigated by the tribunal.
“We received incriminating evidence concerning the priest’s homosexual behaviour and that’s why we have decided to ask him to step down,” he said.
He said the ACK has its own way of disciplining clergy, who include bishops, reverends, priests, venerable and church elders.
“Depending on the weight of the matter, we ask the alleged person to step aside, excommunicate or we put them in probation,” he said.
He went on: “However, we as the church cannot report the matter to the police because the young men are over 18 years and it seems like they were only getting tired of the behaviour, the issue didn’t appear like rape, if they were children we would have reported to police.”
The bishop said the victims are at liberty to report the matter to police.
Nyeri OCPD Charles Rotich said police had not received any complaint from the victims.