Rapper priest in Kenya suspended by Catholic Church for musical sermons

Screencapture of Father Paul Ogalo from BBC

The Catholic Church in Kenya has suspended Father Paul Ogalo who has recently been in the limelight for rapping in church as a way of preaching the Gospel.

Ogalo of St. Monica Catholic Church in Rapogi, Migori County, south-west of Nairobi, was suspended on June 3 for alleged misconduct by the Homa Bay Diocese, The East African reported.

Known by some as Father "Sweet Paul" Ogalo, the priest has been told he must pick between his two passions

He had been leading public mass for a year rapping during sermons, his superior has told the BBC.

The sacred and the secular could not mix, added Bishop Philip Anyolo, of the Homa Bay Diocese in western Kenya.

But the bishop insisted Father Ogalo could use rap and drama to preach to young people - not from the altar, however.

Father Charles Kochiel, the judicial vicar of the inter-diocesan tribunal of Kisumu, confirmed the priest's suspension to The East African.

He said church officials suspended him for a year to "reconsider his manner of preaching."

After mass, Father Ogalo would change from his priest's robes into his rapper's outfit of T-shirt and bandana.

He had told the BBC last month: "Young people call me 'Sweet Paul' because I rap sweet."

The 45-year-old priest said he likes to entertain his congregation with rap, which he uses to implore the youth to abandon the "evil deeds of the world and turn to Christ."

The suspension drew sharp but divides reactions on social media with some younger followers describing the sanction as heavy-handed while more conservative in the faithful said his approach was not appropriate.

Ogalo's suspension means he may not be the main priest during a public mass or administer Holy Communion, but he is allowed to lead private mass.

Copyright © 2018 Ecumenical News