Africa has not been in the news much over abuse in the church. However, there are many reports of widespread flouting of rules on celibacy. Now, there is news that a bishop in Nigeria, Richard Burke of Benin City, has resigned following a sexual scandal. He denies that there ever was any question of "abuse", but only of a broken vow of celibacy, as the partner involved was an adult of 21 when the relationship started. She says she was much younger.
From the BBC:
The Vatican has accepted the resignation of an Irish archbishop in Nigeria accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl in the Niger Delta.
Richard Burke, the archbishop of Benin City, admits to a relationship but denies she was a minor when it began.
"The reason for my resignation is that I have been unfaithful to my oath of celibacy," he said in a statement in the Irish Catholic newspaper.
The Irish Times puts both sides of the story:
The woman making the allegation, Dolores Attwood (41), now lives in Canada with her husband and three children. In a detailed statement last October she accused the archbishop of having abused her in 1983 when she was 14 and a patient in hospital. She also alleged he had abused other young Nigerian girls.
he and Mrs Atwood “had a caring relationship that began in the latter part of 1989, when she was 21 and I was 40. I was posted back to Ireland in March 1990 and returned to Nigeria in April 1996. In the last 20 years, Mrs Atwood and I met on seven occasions. On three of those occasions our relationship was again expressed sexually. This was entirely inappropriate behaviour and it is something for which I am truly sorry.”
"Entirely inappropriate", indeed. The problem is, for an ordained priest, there is no possibility of an "appropriate" sexual or even emotional relationship with anyone.