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American missionary priest in Kenya suspended in dispute over control of hospitals

May 17, 2013

An American missionary priest in Kenya who became embroiled in a legal dispute over the ownership of hospitals has been suspended from the priesthood.

The Maryknoll Society suspended Father William Charles Fryda after he refused to drop a lawsuit he filed three years ago against Cardinal John Njue and Sister Marie Therese Gachamab, superior of the Assumption Sisters in Nairobi. He charges that the two attempted to strip him of control over hospitals serving the poor in Nairobi and Nakuru. Father Fryda says that he built the hospitals with the help of American donors, but Kenyan trustees then sought to wrest control from him.

Maryknoll superiors had urged Father Fryda to drop his lawsuit, while Cardinal Njue asked for arbitration within the Catholic Church. Father Fryda rejected both appeals, and moved to prevent the Maryknoll superior in Africa from interfering with his legal case. The superior, Father Lance Nadeau, responded with a letter announcing the priest’s suspension from ministry.


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