The Anglican Church in Ghana has launched investigations into reports that one of its priests forcibly kissed female students at a teacher training college. A shocking video which has been circulating on social media shows the priest kissing three female students during church service at St. Monica’s College of Education in the Ashanti region.
The priest, who has been identified as Obeng Larbi, is seen in the video kissing the women on their lips one after the other while people at the church service keep shouting. The incident reportedly happened on Sunday at the college.
Ghanaian media Starr FM quoted a female student of the college as saying that officials of the school were looking for the student who recorded the video and shared it. The unnamed student said the priest was kissing the students as “a show of appreciation”. The student did not indicate what the priest was showing appreciation for.
“The father in the video kissing the students didn’t know we were going to post the video,” the student said.
“We were not comfortable with the situation, that’s why we were shouting. This is the first time he’s doing this. He gave the school chaplain a kiss and then did (the) same to the three female Bible readers. The third girl the father kissed is a virgin and that’s why she gave her cheek to the father to kiss but he forced and kissed her lips.”
The Anglican Church in Ghana condemned the incident in a statement on Tuesday. “The Church is saddened by the news and wish to state expressly that thorough investigation has immediately been instituted into the matter and the action of the said Priest would be dealt with in accordance with the norms and values of the Anglican Communion where morality is extremely revered in the Church,” the church said in the statement signed by George Dawson-Ahmoah, the executive director to the Metropolitan Archbishop of Ghana.
“Meanwhile, all efforts are being made to engage the students concerned through counselling sessions to avert any psychological issues that may arise as a result of the viral video,” the statement added.
Social media users are also upset about the viral video. “Reverend Father taking holy kiss from students of St Monica’s college of education, Ghana wow,” one user wrote.
“I’m so disgusted and grossed out. How is this happening in educational institutions?” another asked.