I am the son of a priest, a Catholic Missionary who worked in Africa his entire life. I was the product of a rape by this man. The parish priest at the time concealed the identity of my natural father and without concern for either mother or child, left the child minus dignity, asking very natural questions of a young single mother in 1952 in Uganda. What of me and my mother today? My search for justice continues, peace abated. Is this what God wants of us, to deny such peace and continue to preserve a status quo that of itself erodes quality of life and consideration for the smallest, those on the fringes and the margins? I am almost sixty and still searching for justice.
The Catholic Church in 1952 would go on to conceal the rape. The identity of her abuser, the father of her child would receive no action against him, only to see him transferred to a different parish. I was taken from her, only to be ‘cared’ for by the White Sisters, where I was subsequently dressed as a girl, made fun of and used to entertain their guests. I had no home to go to so during the holidays and so the Sisters sent me off to stay with different families who treated me like a slave. I was called ‘half caste’, ‘Mulattoe’, ‘save the children fund’, ‘Sanlnr babies home’ The Catholic Church would ignore my health, causing me to contract Polio and for the rest of my life, to walk with a limp, physically and so emotionally deformed and berated. Perhaps worst of all, the very denial of justice and stigmatisation and taboo inflicted upon my mother. Two innocent victims would become culprits for my own biological father’s crime, what church would do this to a mother and child?
My mother fell destitute; scorned by church and by extension, society as a whole. Her education was cut short, considered ‘undesirable’ to other men. She did not see me who was considered a ‘problem child’ for years on end as he was sent away. However, amid the worst of all of this is in my estimation is that my personal case is not the worst situation that I knew of. So what might my mother expect now and by extension what might I expect as regards justice? Might she expect to be sent back to the White Fathers from whence she staggered out of an office some sixty years ago, raped, impregnated, stigmatised, quietened, dubbed a liar and later her child, the product of her rapists crime, stolen from her, further violation on his person and brutally abused for another lifetime while her abuser later died peacefully in a retirement home in Ohio in the United States, leaving a trail of devastation in the wake of his Ministerial life? This is precisely what happened as our search for justice continues unabated today. My mother was just a little girl at the time, a teenager and now an old woman who remains lost in a web of deceit.