Kenyan nuns take over hospitals after protracted battle with American priest

A dispute between an order of nuns and an American priest over control of two major hospitals for the poor has ended with the nuns — backed by a court order and the police — storming one of the hospitals.

The battle for the St. Mary’s Mission Hospitals has pitted the Maryknoll priest against the Assumption Sisters of Nairobi in the courts for more than six years and finally ended when the nuns, who had already taken over the Nairobi hospital, entered its sister hospital on Friday

“They stormed the hospital in the morning. The sisters came with a contingent of police officers and other civilians. We are now handing over. It’s all peaceful,” said the Rev. Bob Silvio, chaplain of the St. Mary’s hospital in Elementaita, 75 miles northwest of Nairobi.

The struggle between the Rev. William Charles Fryda, who is also a physician, and the sisters worried in particular the poor of the region. They rely on the busy hospitals for medical care many say they could not access elsewhere.

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