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Massive solidarity for Italian missionary accused of abuse in Kenya

.- Various Catholic organizations have expressed their solidarity with Father Kizito Sesana, a Combonian missionary from Italy who has been unjustly accused of sexually abusing children in Kenya, where he has served children and young people for over 20 years.

According to the magazine Mondo e Missione, published by the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, Father Sesana has been the target of “a defamation campaign begun by the privately owned Kenya Television Network, which has accused the priest of abusing children.”

The Superior General of the Combonians, Father Teresino Serra, issued a statement expressing support for Father Sesana, recalling his “great devotion to the missions.  The leadership expresses his closeness to Father Sesana in this time of trial.”

Former students of the Kivuli Centre, where Father Sesana works, said, “Many of us have gone through the rehabilitation program at Kivuli and we wish to clearly state that the accusations are baseless and extremely malicious.”

The Koinonia Association of Rome, which provides economic assistance for Father Sesana’s projects, said the accusations against the priest were inexplicable and that his works in Kenya have done great good.

Young people from the Nafsi Africa Acrobats, another initiative started by Father Sesana, sent a statement to the Kenya TV network saying they felt “proud and motivated by his generous efforts” in support of those most in need and that they would continue to support him and to protest the network’s defamatory reporting.

Father Sesana issued the following response to the accusations.  “I wish to say quickly and clearly that I have not had any sexual relations with children. I am ready to confront whoever would claim the contrary.”  “I do not ask for privileged treatment but only for the chance to defend myself through the normal channels of justice,” he said.

More information can be found in Italian at http://www.missionline.org/index.php?l=it&art=1373

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