An International Catholic Organisation has contracted a private DNA agency in Kenya to conduct paternity DNA Services to children who believe they were sired by Catholic priests.
On Saturday, the agency- DNA Testing Services, formerly known as CSI Nairobi launched a campaign asking mothers who have had children with priests to request for DNA tests.
Several cases of children, mothers and families accusing Catholic priests of siring and abandoning children have been reported in Kenya, with some of them being taken to court.
One of the cases involved a priest in Maua Meru, who was accused by the family of two cousins, Amos, 22 and Harrison, 19, who were murdered and their bodies being dumped at a river in Ruai.
But their efforts to compel the priest were fruitless, as Amos’ mother who had been an employee of a charity organisation also died under mysterious circumstances, months before the murder of her son.
Amos and Harrison were carjacked and commandeered to the river and shot at close range.
They died on the spot.
Another cousin who was in their company, was injured.
Even before the burial of the cousins, Amos’ extended family demanded that the priest declare that he is his biological father.
They said that the priest had secretly been supporting Amos’ studies, and had been influential in his life.
They said he even bought him the car he had the day they were kidnapped.
The priest, however, told the Nation that Amos was not his biological son, but he adopted him before his mother died, because he was a poor child.
The priest said he was not related to the family.
The puzzle of who Amos’ real biological father is remains unresolved.
Last week, in a blunt letter, Pope Francis acknowledged that the Catholic Church had failed to act over sexual abuse by clerics against minors going back decades.
“With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realising the magnitude of the damage done to so many lives,” the Pope wrote.
Director of DNA testing Services Kinyanjui Murigi said the agency in the next 30 days will receive requests that touch on priests.
“The reports will be confidential but we will hand them to the Catholic Church and the Vatican, then they will decide on what to do,” he said.