DURBAN, South Africa – The Catholic church says it is dealing with its priest who allegedly had an affair. Father Paul Manci, spokesperson for the Mariannhill Diocese, said an internal process was under way and was headed by
“It is wrong for a priest to have an affair. It is not just our policy, but a universal one”, said Manci.
Catholic priests are sworn to celibacy the world over.
That a Catholic priest was alleged to have had an affair with a sports official’s wife. The woman has since died, but at the centre of the battle were her possessions.
The sports official’s wife had left him in 2008 and moved into an estate and was alleged to have continued the affair with the priest.
Manci said he was hopeful that an amicable solution would be found between the priest and the sports official without going to court.
However, the sports official on Saturday said he would be at Pinetown Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday seeking a search-and-seizure warrant for the missing items he believed had been taken by the priest from her home.
He said approaching the court was also part of winding up his wife’s estate.
“It is a legal process to get the deceased estate into order. It normally takes three months to wind up the estate, but due to delays, I had to apply for an extension. I did not just approach the court,” he said.
The official said he became aware of the affair after he saw romantic text messages from the priest declaring his love to his wife. But when he confronted his wife, she downplayed the affair and agreed she would put an end to it. He said the priest and his wife had studied together and when the couple were married in 1994, the priest and his wife were still in contact.
“The affair continued behind my back until 2008, when she requested that we lived separately. She moved into an apartment at the Plantations Estate in Hillcrest which the priest frequented,” he said.
He said two weeks after his wife’s funeral the priest claimed in court that he was the sole beneficiary of the deceased’s estate. But later he withdrew those claims.
He said the priest, through a court order, was forced to return two laptops, cellphones, a death certificate, a will and a car, but he still needed to return a VW Polo. He said the church had done nothing wrong, but it was individuals who were bringing it into disrepute by going against its policies.
When the priest was contacted for a comment on Saturday, he said he was attending a funeral. He said all queries should be directed to the church.
Source Sunday Tribune