Harare archbishop, His Grace Robert Christopher Ndlovu has said the faithful must play a watchdog role in the life of seminarians to avoid his office ordaining people who are full of scandals.
The archbishop was speaking to members of various adult guilds at the Catholic University of Zimbabwe on the eve of Vocations Sunday.
His call comes in the wake of an increase in cases of unbecoming behavior by priests and other religious leaders in the local media.
The archbishop pleaded with the faithful to always report wayward behavior especially amongst the seminarians when they are on pastoral assignments. He said the reports would help them in their assessments of who should be ordained a priest.
“Help me please, even when it comes to the selection of those who must be ordained priests. You witness a lot of unbecoming behaviour at your parishes but you often keep quiet.
“I know in one diocese, a seminarian went for pastoral work and he got involved there with a girl. The parents of the girl and those of the seminarian are seasoned Catholics, but they decided to play things underground. They negotiated between the families’ dowry for the girl and it was paid, but shockingly, they also decided that the seminarian must continue with his vocation at the seminary,” He said.
Ndlovu added: “Even the other parishioners from their parish knew the secret but somehow kept quiet.
“The young man was eventually ordained a priest. But as you know, old habits die hard, he continued with his scandalous life but this time, people were saying the bishop has a problem to deal with yet all along, they knew about the issues but kept quiet.
“At times we are too polite for nothing. Some things must be exposed for the love of the church. You must ask yourselves always whether you are ready to accept the same individuals you are protecting to be your parish priest one day.”