Scandalous

“What is on your mind, Sister Augustin?” Father Schmidt asked her when she joined him in his office. She seemed very agitated.

After she closed the door, she approached him. “Father, I have some very disturbing news.”

“Have a seat.”

She sat down. Her hands were clasped tightly on her lap. “Something very disturbing has been brought to my attention. This morning there was a knock on my door but when I opened it no one was there. The corridor was empty but there was an envelope on the floor with my name written on it. I took it up and went back into my room to read it.”

He sat down behind the desk, gravely concerned. “What did it say, Sister Augustin?”

“It said things about Father Kiesler and one of the girls.”

“What things?”

Her face flushed and she looked very uncomfortable. “Well…”

“What things, Sister Augustin ?” he asked again.

“That he and the girl were having–relations.” She couldn’t bring herself to say the word, sex.

Father Schmidt’s face turned pale. “This person saw Father Kiesler and one of the girls having sex?”

Sister Augustin nodded. “Yes.”

“Do you know who wrote the note?”

“No, Father. There wasn’t a name but it must have been one of the girls because the boys would never come to the girls’ dorm.” Reaching into the pocket of her gown, she retrieved a folded sheet of paper and handed it to him.

He took the sheet from her and unfolding it, he read the anonymous and articulate account of a very sordid affair. Disgust and horror filled him. “I can’t believe this,” he muttered, shaking his head.

The writer had witnessed Father Kiesler and the girl one night in the library when she had gone there to borrow a book. The door was closed and she quietly opened it. She was shocked to see Father Kiesler sitting on a chair, naked with his head thrown back, eyes closed, moaning as the girl knelt between his legs performing fellatio. The unknown person quickly closed the door, making sure that she didn’t make a sound and fled.

The next morning, whoever it was had left the note outside of Sister Augustin’s room. “This says that the girl he was caught with is Monika, the Nigerian orphan.”

“Yes.”

“How old is she?”

“Fifteen. She will be sixteen in August.”

Father Schmidt felt sick to the stomach. It was bad enough that one of the priests had broken his vow of celibacy but it was quite another thing for him to be having sexual relations with a minor. “I wonder how long this has been going on.”

“I don’t know, Father.”

“Have you spoken to Monifa about it?”

“No, Father. I thought it best to come to you instead.”

“I wonder if there are others.”

“I don’t know, Father. This is the only incident which I’m aware of.”

“I will have to deal with this as soon as possible.”

“Thank you, Father.” She stood up.

“Until this situation has been dealt with, please make sure that none of the girls leave their rooms after they have retired for the night. Lock their doors if you have to.”

“Yes, Father.” She quickly left the room. As she stepped outside and closed the door behind her, she genuflected and crossed herself before hurrying down the corridor.

Father Kiesler emerged from the shadows, watching her retreating figure. Then, his gaze shifted to Father’s Schmidt’s closed door.

Father Schmidt sank back in his chair, his mind whirling. How could Father Kiesler do such things? Had he no fear of God Almighty? And poor Monifa. What she must be going through.

It was a wicked thing to abuse one’s power. He was a grown man, a priest, to boot, who was taking advantage of an orphaned girl. God had a special place in His heart for orphans. He was protective of them. I have to protect Monifa and the other girls and if that means getting rid of Father Kiesler, so be it.

He glanced down at the note in his hand and then, he put in his desk, under some papers. This evening, he was going to confront Father Kiesler. It was going to be unpleasant but he had to do what was right for the parish, the school and Monifa.

He reached for his Bible and found the verse in the book of Deuteronomy which said, “So you shall put away the evil from your midst.”

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