Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Ahiara Diocesan crisis: group backs Pope Francis, lambasts Mbise people

Image result for pictures of Pope Francis
By Okechukwu Onuegbu

The Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria (CLCN) has threw its weight behind the decision of Pope Francis, who insisted that Bishop Peter Okpaleke remains the prelate of Ahiara Diocese, and asked the priests and lay faithful to abide by it.
 The Council also lamented that Mbaise people who mostly constitute the Ahiara Diocese have brought shame on the Catholic Church by refusing to accept Bishop Okpaleke, despite the intervention of the Holy Father, Pope Francis.
 Ahiara Diocese, it would be recalled, had been in protracted crisis following refusal of its priests and lay faithful to accept nomination of Bishop Peter Okpaleke as its bishop. They also believed that one of their sons in the priesthood qualified for the exalted position should be appointed instead of bringing in Okpaleke from Anambra State.
 Speaking in a press conference, the Chairman of CLCN, Barr Chizoba Nnagboh, said, “The CLCN is completely scandalized and bewildered by the uncharitable and venomous utterances used against the hierarchy of the church by priests and lay faithful of the diocese. Is it not sad that priests of the Catholic Church could defy papal authority? We cannot profess to be Catholics while our word and actions show the antithesis.”
 Nnagboh further called on the defiant people of Ahiara Diocese to tread the path of peace and retrace their steps and respect the hierarchy of the Catholic Church as the council frowns at such act and seriously repudiates the name calling, denigration and blackmail of the church by the people of the diocese.

 “Mbaise has brought the moral bar too low and brought disgrace to everybody. The recent appointment and peaceful installation of the Bishop of Ogoja who hails from Ikot Ekpene is instructive enough to the Ahiara people. The discordant tunes we still hear from them ought not to be, the teachings of the church is enough to sway any aggrieved member to the path of obedience, especially with the intervention of the Pope,” He said.



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