Associated Press

Dec 6, 2019

NAIROBI – Steven Lacchin grew up a fatherless boy, but he knew some very basic facts about the man who was his father.

He knew Lacchin, the name on his Kenyan birth certificate, was his dad’s name. He knew that Mario Lacchin abandoned him and his mother.

When he was older, he learned that his father was an Italian missionary priest – and that in leaving, he had chosen the Church over his child.

What he did not know is that less than 10 kilometers (6 miles) away, another man was on a quest to prove that Mario Lacchin was his father, too.

These two men would find each other thanks to an Associated Press story that appeared on the front page of Kenya’s main newspaper. All agreed that they bore a marked resemblance, but they underwent genetic testing to be certain.
Were they indeed half-brothers – sons of the same Father?

The Vatican only publicly admitted this year that it had a problem: Priests were fathering children. And it only acknowledged the problem by revealing that it had crafted internal guidelines to deal with it.

“I don’t know how many children of priests there are in the world, but I know that they are all over the planet,” said Anne-Marie Jarzac, who heads the French group Enfants du Silence (Children of Silence), which recently opened negotiations with French bishops to access church archives so these children of priests can learn their true identities.
Just as clergy sex abuse victims have long suffered the indifference of the Catholic hierarchy, many of these children of priests endure rejection multiple times over: abandoned by their fathers, deprived of their identities and ignored by church superiors when they seek answers or help.

Steven Lacchin’s lineage was no secret. Members of Mario Lacchin’s order were well aware of it and exerted pressure on him to choose the Church over his young family, according to his letters.

His mother, Madeleine, kept a decade worth of correspondence with the priest, as well as meticulous records of her efforts to seek child support from the Consolata leadership and regional bishops after Steven was born June 21, 1980. (Steven Lacchin asked that his mother be identified only by her first name.)

The two had met two years earlier in Nanyuki, about 200 kilometers north of Nairobi, where Madeleine was a school teacher at an all-girls school and Lacchin would celebrate Mass. Madeleine would later tell the Consolata regional superior that she first went to Lacchin with “a spiritual problem,” but that they then eased into a “friendly pastor-parishioner” relationship that grew into love.

On July 28, 1979, Mario Lacchin wrote a birthday card to Madeleine in his neat cursive, promising to spend more time with her and her young daughter from a previous relationship, Josephine, despite the risks their union posed.

“I do really love you with all my heart and body,” he wrote. “You are the only one who is giving me, not only physical satisfaction, but a lot more. You are telling me and teaching me how beautiful it is to love and be together no matter the sacrifices we have to make for it.”

Soon after, Madeleine became pregnant. A few months before Steven was born, Lacchin wrote from Rome about meetings he held with the Consolata leadership at the order’s headquarters about his impending fatherhood.

“I had a little trouble in Rome with my superiors,” he wrote Madeleine on March 4, 1980. “It is my impression that nobody is going to help me in the way I would like to go,” he wrote, adding: “How is the baby?”

By the end of 1981 – with Steven Lacchin a year old – the priest seemed determined to end his “double life” and devote himself to his family.

“I took a courage to meet with my provincial superior about you, about Steven, about my readiness to leave the priesthood,” he wrote. “I want you, and I will fight until I will be with you, Steven and Josephine forever.”

But in that same letter, Lacchin told Madeleine that his superior wasn’t at all on board with the plan. “He told me that he wants to save my priesthood, but I told him that I will never be able to continue in such a life knowing I had a child belong to me,” he wrote.

Lacchin never left the Consolatas. His letters over the following years speak of his order’s “pressure” to remain a priest, as well as his own feelings of “failure” and his apologies for having promised Madeleine “a future which will never come.”

While the Vatican was loath in those years to let a priest abandon his vocation, the Consolata’s deputy superior, Father James Lengarin, insists that if a priest formally requested to be released from his vows because he had fathered a child, he would have been allowed to go.
By 1985, Madeleine was increasingly unable to care for the children. She was ill, and shunned by her devout Catholic family because of her liaison with Lacchin.

Lacchin, then stationed in Uganda, had left 1.7 million Ugandan shillings for her in the Ugandan diocese of Tororo that year (the equivalent at the time of $2,500), but in the midst of a civil war, Madeleine couldn’t access the money. Due to the upheaval, the money lost nearly all its value.

Two years later, Madeleine wrote to Lacchin’s superiors seeking financial and bureaucratic help as she increasingly feared for Steven’s future. Who would pay for his education? And the child couldn’t get Kenyan citizenship because his father wasn’t Kenyan; Steven Lacchin’s birth certificate and other identity papers all bore Mario Lacchin’s name.

The Consolata’s then-regional superior, Father Mario Barbero, replied that he understood Lacchin had left money for Steven’s care in Uganda.

“With this I think that Mario has given some contribution towards meeting the expenses for Steven’s upbringing, though I know that money is not enough to heal psychological wounds and frustrations you had to go through,” Barbero wrote.
A year later, Madeleine took her case directly to Lacchin.

“Even as I write, I find it difficult to believe that you, Mario, could turn me into the helpless beggar I am,” she wrote on Jan. 5, 1988.

“I accepted your decision regarding me, and yet I cannot accept your hiding behind the priesthood to refuse to help a child you helped bring into the world,” she wrote. “I do not know what you think he will think of you and of your priesthood and other priests when he grows up and learns how you treated him.”

By then, Mario Lacchin had been transferred north and was working at the Consolata mission in Archer’s Post, a onetime trading station in the Northern Rift Valley. There, he met Sabina Losirkale, a young girl in her final year at Gir Gir Primary School who cleaned the Consolata priests’ quarters after classes.
Impregnated at 16 – before the age of legal consent in Kenya – she would give birth to a boy, Gerald Erebon, on March 12, 1989. He was pale complexioned, unlike his black mother or siblings or the black man he was told was his father.
When Sabina became pregnant, the Consolatas transferred Lacchin out of Archer’s Post, and he vanished from her life.

Shortly before her death in 2012, family members say, Sabina told them Lacchin was Gerald’s father. The priest has denied it, and refused to take a paternity test. The order acknowledged nothing.
The AP told Gerald Erebon’s story in October. That article led Steven Lacchin to reach out to Erebon on Facebook.
“I saw your story and I feel for you,” he wrote. “I am letting you know, you are not alone.”

Intrigued, but skeptical, Erebon responded. What did the writer want to share?

“He is my dad too,” Lacchin replied.
A few days later, the two met in Nairobi. It turns out they are practically neighbors, living in adjacent neighborhoods along Nairobi’s main Magadi Road. They marveled at how much they looked alike: two bi-racial men born to black African mothers, soft-spoken and pensive, though Erebon towers over Steven.

Awkwardly, they hugged for the first time and looked over the documentation Steven had brought along detailing the years-long relationship between Lacchin and his mother and her efforts to hold him responsible for Steven’s upkeep.
They shared the stories of their lives.

Like Erebon, Steven Lacchin was brought up in the Church and attended seminary for a time. Steven said he was kicked out once his bishop discovered that his father was a Catholic priest. Eventually he was able to put himself through law school, and now is married with three children.
“I wouldn’t need a DNA to tell these two are brothers,” said Lacchin’s wife, Ruth. “If you look at Mario, you look at Steven, you look at Gerald, it’s one person. It’s one tree. They are brothers!”

Still, they needed to know. The AP arranged for DNA tests.

Two weeks later, the results were in: The findings were “entirely consistent with a direct male-line biological relationship,” the lab said.

In other words, the men are almost certainly half-brothers, said Darren Griffin, a geneticist at the University of Kent who reviewed the lab results for AP.
“The only thing I can say is welcome to the family!” Lacchin told Erebon, shaking his hand.

“This is eternal,” Lacchin said. “We can’t run away from this. We may go our separate ways, but one thing, you know you have a brother out there.”

Erebon said he had thought he was alone, and having “a relative, a family, someone you can call your own, makes it a bit easier for me now.”

Mario Lacchin, who has taken a leave from his parish work in Nairobi to see his Italian relatives, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Lengarin, the deputy Consolata superior, said he searched the order’s Nairobi archives in 2018 after Erebon came forward and turned up no information about Erebon or Steven Lacchin. But he acknowledged that he only looked into the two years surrounding Erebon’s 1989 birth, and that the order doesn’t keep complete personnel files.

He said AP’s inquiry about Steven Lacchin was the first the order in Rome and Nairobi had heard about a possible second son of Mario Lacchin.

But Steven’s mother was in touch with the Consolata superiors in the 1980s. Steven sent letters to Consolata officials in Nairobi in 2010 and 2014, seeking financial assistance (he wanted to buy land to build a home for his family) along with help sorting out his citizenship status.

Getting no response, starting in 2016 he made the same requests of Mario Lacchin’s bishop, Virgilio Pante – like Mario Lacchin, an Italian member of the Consolata order.

Pante responded with an Oct. 14, 2017, text: “You look for something big. My diocese of Maralal now financially is suffering. True. Can I send you now a Christmas gift 25,000?” (In Kenyan shillings, the equivalent of around $250.)

Steven still wants the Church’s help in ironing out his Kenyan and Italian citizenship issues; Erebon wants Mario Lacchin to acknowledge his paternity, so the heritage of his own two children can be recognized and they can obtain Italian citizenship.

“It started very long time ago and our father has to do the right thing, at least once,” Erebon said. “He needs to make it right. And the Church should not continue with the cover-up. They should just make this right.”


I have met the children of priests in this country and would not be surprised to discover that there are hundreds of thousands of such children in the world.

The presence of all these children is another charge against the lie of celibacy.

Celibacy has never worked. It does not work.

One of the great blasphemies the RCC is the preaching of “Suffer little children” and at the same time murder, abuse and abandon millions of children over time.

And that contradiction was born in deepest Hell.


sadly Pat you never had children. I feel like this must be very lonely for you. the unlived and unloved life. I have 6 children and 14 grandchildren. what a blessing for me


I have 3 children and 6 grandkids and I’m not a cleric. They are such a blessing to me and the purpose of my life. I think no one is truly fulfilled without children. Granted, gay folk are at a disadvantage and I feel sorry for them


No, I have no children or grandchildren – and never wished for any. I have experienced oceans of love in my life and still do. I am never lonely.


9.10: Pat, in fairness to children, you made the right decision not to be a parent!!


I agree. As a recent grandmother I canny tell you the pride and joy I feel for my kids and grandchild and watching them grow into great people. They will be there for me in old age. Family and children are so incredibly important


in my experience as a gay man in his 40’s, I regret not trying to start a family. the gay life is very lonely and that is the experience of a majority of gay men.


family are very important. I can’t imagine life without them. wouldn’t it be awful to be childless 😦


Is it possible that the Archdiocese of Liverpool safeguarding have been naughty boys and girls?
… Is it possible Liverpool and Middlesbrough have bitten off more than they can chew…? What say you…?
… Is it possibly the case that the RCC cannot survive in a digital age?
… I am a digital-girl in a digital world…
Shine! Shine your light, Lord Jesus and dispel all the darkness-even with the use of technology…
Yes, the same medium which sent Jolly on his jollies!
Is it possibly Jolly will be getting a new room mate?
…. oooh, I’m bursting to tell all, but I am currently sworn to secrecy.
Happy Christmas to you all! X


Dirty filthy Romanist scum. Getting many women pregnant in Africa and elsewhere knowing they could flee back to Ireland and other places. How many of these filth are now sitting in retirement luxury in their religious dens of sanctuary? Dromintine, Kiltegan, Navan, The Graan, Mount Argus and many others. Get these vile men named and shamed and their rich Orders made to pay up for the support of these children who’ve been totally abandoned. Sell of these religious houses and retirement places to pay for their sexual exploits abroad.


Some of them retired missionaries who have returned to Ireland still continue to offer Mass and galavant all over the place supplying? How many of them have sons and daughters running around Africa and other places in the world. What galls me is that because they have served abroad they think everybody owes them a great deal and that they are entitled to special treatment.


Bishop P., leave lots of room on today’s blog for all the good priests, who’ll be falling over themselves to condemn this cowardly, unchristian abandonment of children, under their own names.
You will not silence a good priest. You cannot keep even one of these from walking the road to Calvary.
(He’ll do both for himself. 😕)


I hope you’re being a good priest now Fr “Magna Carta”, well those of you in “Magna Carta” who are priests in any case.


You’re one of the many ‘good’ priests 😅 I’m routinely assured, with some gusto, exist, aren’t you?
Er, where’s your light?
Of course.
Under yonder bushel. 😕
You Romanist pimps are a global joke.
Seriously, the very idea of combing ‘good’ and ‘priest’ syntactically is as hilariously convincing as ‘Fr Sean Jones is damn straight!’.


Ah! Sunday morning, full Irish, hot whiskey and the blog. No news here this has being going on for centuries, McEntaggart? Most of them are dead now, they did a lot of good as well. Let those men rest in peace, little good comes from raking up the past Pat. Magna @3.32am your starting to get boring, tiresome and repetitive, you are better than this.


Typical. A bit of hypocrisy does no harm. Is that your attitude?
Contemporary life is very different than what’s been going on for centuries.


At 6:51am, no it’s not “better than this” (“Magna Carta”) and it has been boring, tiresome and repetitive for a very long long time now. If you think it/they are going to listening to your remonstrations, think again …. pissing in the wind comes to mind.


Magna has made many valuable contributions to this blog he is better than that rant.


Two choices either say the whole priesthood needs reform back to a stricter model, semi enclosure, old mass, weekly confession, and admit the Vatican Two 1960s update didn’t work or disband the whole thing, no priesthood just ministries a form of broad church anglicism throughout the universal church with only a short term aim a sort of English bishops managed decline around the world


I very much doubt any religious superiors or bishops will cough up any readies or offer any support to the children of clergy left abroad. We only have to look closer to home at the inaction regarding randy clergy such as Dallat et al who fathered a child without any reprimand. Indeed, they only got promotion instead and act like nothing ever happened. Look at Casanova Casey and Casanova Cleary to tell us all we need to know. All these jockey clerics who could ride for Ireland and get away with it. Their children and mistresses still suffer.


About Dallat:
I have family in Loughinisland where he now lives in that fine detached red brick house facing the lough. And they’re keeping a close eye on him.


Let’s hope Dallat reads this, and knows that people are keeping an eye on him ! He deserves to be kept to account, and I have real doubts that his bishop will be bothering much with that. So, LaityWatch is the only way for these clergy who think that they can live double lives.


The likes of Dallat, you will find, don’t give a shite if they are being watched or not. He’s got away with it before so What a to stop him thinking he’d get away with it again. He has the same arrogance that the vile Cleary and Casey possessed because they think they were and are untouchable.


I’m told he’s trying to ingratiate himself in the parish via the football team. Let’s hope the camogie team stay well clear of him.


How do you feel about all the babies abandoned by western priests on the missions, in places like Africa?


A couple of observations:
1. Yes, it is inevitable that European missionaries will have fathered children with indigenous women, and then done a runner, as per the usual clerical culture, absolving themselves of all responsibility and leaving mother and child to carry on by themselves. Not very honourable, is it ? But, that’s what we have come to expect of the clerical caste.
2. it is also inevitable, and probably in far larger numbers, that indigenous priests will be fathering children in their own countries, and on a far larger scale. The indigenous clergy learned well from their missionaries predecessors, in particular the clerical culture of entitlement, being set apart, unaccountability etc. etc.
3. In addition, both missionaries and indigenous priests will be guilty of sexual abuse on an industrial scale in missionary / Third World places, again following the clerical culture pattern of entitled and unaccountable behaviour. For the missionaries, they felt certain that given that they could do a runner with some ease back home, that they were even less accountable, and could leave whatever sins they had committed behind. them. I know of several missionary priests who are at home who had abusive histories in the lands in which they worked. Even though some of these crimes are known, to all intents and purposes they are immune from any prosecution, in part because of territorial and jurisdiction issues, but also because they are the rich and powerful compared to the poor and innocent that that they have abused. And now they sit at home, warm, well fed, looked after, lots of whiskey and cigarettes on call, and generally feeling absolved of the harm that they have done.
4. The common theme through all of this is the clerical culture of entitlement, unaccountability, immunity, that sense of being special and set apart, and coverup by those around them. That’s the thing that needs to be changed, quickly ! Those criminals who have abused in missionary lands still rely on this culture to ensure that until the grave nothing will ever happen to them. And the Church connives in that.


And it’s good for the wilfully blind and stupid to be alerted……..perhaps yourself?


If you see something evil, you should condemn it. What is bad is bad. If there is a way to deal with erring Priests, the Church should do so rather than conniving and covering the erring Priests. St. Paul had advised that, if you cannot live the life of Celibacy like him, he advised you marry to avoid formication and adultery. Why would Priest who has taken an oath of celibacy go into sexual abuses? That is the worst form of hypocrisy.


Perhaps existing clergy and prospective new clergy should undergo chemical castration to stop any further rot and hanky panky with man, woman, beast or all three.


Being a priest and have no children can be a powerful motivator hi Also I heard years ago that not having children in some cultures is not understood. The Priesties went with the flow. The laws an ass so feed the donkeys hi


Good evening fly hi.
Begorra fly motivators on mission.
If you go with the flow mind as you go.
Funny how some laws matter more than udders.
Bye bye hi fly.


Looking for an EU passport to get on the gravy train. Being a priests son or daughter is no big deal in Africa.


Not clergy and no whiskey in loved. Lived in Kenya for years they looked at you a bit funny if you had no kids. Dallat would have flourished Pat not so much.


Yeah ! You really think so ?! Let me tell you, I know, you lot are as bad as the missionaries. Dream on ! The next big tsunami of abuse if going to come from your neck of the world, and it will be huge. You are only 30 years or so behind us here. So hang about, and your “it does’t happen in Nigeria” will come back to haunt you, Vitus ! Trust me ! And that’s to say nothing of the shocking financial shenanigans that go on in your bit of the Church.


well, Vitus! how are ya? any craic? any scandal as the young wans do say. you’re welcome to the mad house


you remind me of an African nun who was doing postgrad studies in Maynooth. One day she announced in a seminar that there are ‘no homosexuals in Africa’. everyone in the room smiled at her.


It’s a fake profile. Put the image into Google search lol. His page waS created yesterday. I think it’s magma


Bishop Zanchetta’s canon law attorney provides laughable excuse for Zanchetta’s ‘pastoral work’.

The bishop’s canon law attorney, Javier Belda Iniesta, suggested Wednesday that the allegations “could enter in the ambit of perception,” such as “a hug that lasted longer than normal, a kiss that instead of the cheek could fall on an ear, touching a leg, risque jokes.


This Vitus is a total made up name just as much as his/her comments. We are not fooled by your silly remarks including that drivel about Nigeria. It’s clear you are only on to antagonize for the fun of it so shut your cakehole and move on.


At 11:13am – just like “Magna Carta” too. Many wish they would shut their cakehole and move on too.


These boots weren’t made for walkin’
And that’s just what they won’t do 😎


Oh dear, you’re so easily upset you poor thing. It’s a pity about you @6.45pm. Fool.


‘Homosexualist’? ‘Tis a word that ex-queer (by the grace of God 😅) and hypocrite, Michaela Voris, uses of LGBT-compassionate priests, like Fr James Martin SJ.
Is it another way of saying ‘homosexual’?


Magna I have a feeling you’re a bottom. Care to come over to mine for a drink? You seem so lost. Come on over and I will give you some….erm, succor 😏


Pat, Sammy Wilson is thanking you and you’re in the Bel Tel for supporting him.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s