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Mombasa’s retired Archbishop Boniface Lele critically ill

Retired Catholic Archbishop Boniface Lele. (Photo:File/Standard)

By ERNEST NDUNDA and MARTIN MUTUA

Mombasa, Kenya: Retired Catholic Archbishop Boniface Lele has been admitted at Mombasa Hospital in critical condition.

Lele, 66, who resigned on November 1, last year due to ill health has since been out of the public limelight.

Worshippers at the Holy Ghost Cathedral Church in Mombasa were Sunday informed about Lele’s admission at the intensive care unit (ICU) on Saturday and asked to pray for his quick recovery.

“Our retired Archbishop Boniface Lele has been admitted at the Mombasa Hospital’s ICU and we ask for prayers for his quick recovery,” said Father John Correa, who is the priest in charge of the Mombasa Holy Ghost Catholic Church.

However, Correa did not divulge what Lele was suffering from but hospital sources confirmed he had suffered a cardiac arrest.

Lele was allowed to leave office by Pope Francis in conformity with the church’s Canon Law.

LEAVING OFFICE

Lele’s permission to leave office was granted in a papal letter dated October delivered by the Pope’s representative to Kenya Archbishop Charles D Balvo.

The resignation took effect on November 1, last year.

When he was appointed to head the Mombasa church, Lele shot to the limelight as the first Catholic bishop to come out in defence of married couples infected with HIV to be allowed to use condoms.

Lele rubbed his colleagues the wrong way after he was quoted as saying that some HIV positive couples could use condoms to prevent re-infection and prolong their lives. The Catholic Church is against the use of contraceptives.

“Since these people are married, what do you tell them? Do you tell them to separate? That would be against Church teaching,” he was quoted as saying in 2005.