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Opinions of Friday, 20 August 2021

Columnist: Don Francis

‘The Holy Kissing Priest': His sin, crucifixion and our judgement

Screengrab of Rev Obeng Larbi kissing one of the girls Screengrab of Rev Obeng Larbi kissing one of the girls

Ever since the video of the priest’s “holy kiss” came up on the internet, I have had a difficult time reacting to it and so I have been silent due to the mixed feelings of it. I didn’t want to share my mind because of how slippery the issue is.

And specifically, I didn’t want to say anything I had no firm grip on. Even this write-up, I’m afraid most of you would push me to the slippery-sloppy road but this is my thought.

Whiles begrudging myself on what to say, I have been marveled at a lot. Before anything, I personally know Father Larbi and at least what he’s capable of (although I don’t know his closet).

Let me state emphatically that I do not support that act. Honestly, when it comes to women, I feel any man shouldn’t tackle a female anyway without her consent.

I don’t know his intent for it but honestly, I can’t watch the video continually twice because I get hurt. Hurt, for what that act has brought upon him. When it comes to sexualism, I 100 percent stay off women and believe all men should.

But my worry has been how the issue has been treated by social media folks.

I have read most of your (my Facebook friends) comments on this issue and honestly, most of you have gone far-fetched. I read from a friend here who hasn’t been in Ghana for the previous 7 years say the father has been doing that for a long time. Honestly, she doesn’t even know the school’s whereabouts.

Of course, if the last lady was my lady, I wouldn’t like it but truth is that the man wouldn’t do it publicly especially if he’s a ‘serial a sexual predator and abuser’ as some of you labelled him par his profession as a lawyer and priest.

Knowing for over the 3-year period of my acquaintance with MONICO, he’s the number one disciplinarian and the reason for utter sanity in that school in terms of students’ behavior. He’s the reason most of these lady students stay in school and learn (for those I know).

Last three weeks, I met him at the gate taking notes of those who took advantage of their graduation and left campus without permission when they were in exam week. He told my companion that “excellence before pleasure”. That should they pass well, he’d not obstruct them to go and enjoy. I took that statement into my system.

Again, I don’t support his act nor am I seeking to take away his ‘shame’. But the heightened rate at which most folks projected him for a sinful priest is unfathomable. That is my worry.

I have read a lot of screenshots about his previous acts too. How do we even authenticate those screenshots if we are not presented with the victims?

Hasn’t anyone asked why all this while no one has shown up (although I know it’s difficult and takes courage to)? However, if it was that serious as some of you are alluding to, wouldn’t anyone show up (although investigations are ongoing).

On my first encounter with him in 2018, I wondered why most ladies were running into him for hugs. I felt sorry for him that very day. Young ladies are difficult to handle. Because I hate temptations, I don’t like female friends that much into my inner circle, and there was a priest opening up for these ladies without boundaries.

That very day, at the school’s gate, I overhead three ladies who sneaked out bashing him for being strict. Such is life.

So those of you with the ‘that’s how he is’ judgment, how did you come by that? Most of them wouldn’t like him due to his strict disciplinary nature. So, if you also said “that’s how he is” based on the few screenshots, think twice.

Again, I don’t support his kissing act and neither do I know his intent but that doesn’t mean he’s been doing it.

Of all the screenshots, who has said he’s kissed anyone to make him a perpetual kisser?

Lastly, I am so surprised at the energy channeled at him seeking to cut his head off. All sorts of releases and articles. The nowhere to be found National Youth Authority asked for his expulsion. I have no problem. My real problem is our quick judgement.

He’s going. Let’s wait for discipline again in MONICO (I am not a doom prophet). And painfully, young people spearheaded these chants about the crucifixion of the sinful priest. My advice is in the Akan adage “nya asem hwe”.

PS: This is my thoughts and purely mine.