The Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Bishop Callistus Onaga, has banned Catholics including the clergy from attending Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka’s Adoration Ministry over his recent comments on presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi, in the ministry.
This is contained in a letter personally signed by the Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Bishop Callitus Onaga and addressed to ‘All the Clergy, Religious and Lay Faithful in the Catholic Diocese of Enugu’ on Saturday in Enugu.
Mr Onaga banned them from having anything to do with the Adoration Ministry.
The letter said, “In the light of the happenings in the Catholic Adoration Ministry Chaplaincy Enugu, capable of undermining the Catholic faith and teachings and after several fraternal corrections and admonitions to Fr. Ejike Mbaka, the Chaplain of the Ministry.
“Having given him pastoral directives and guidelines for the Ministry Chaplaincy, which he persistently violated.
“In fulfilment of my pastoral duties as the Chief Shepherd with the obligation to promote and safeguard the Catholic faith and morals in Enugu Diocese, I hereby prohibit all Catholics (clergy, religious and lay faithful) henceforth from attending all religious and liturgical activities of the Catholic Adoration Ministry until the due canonical process initiated by the Diocese is concluded.
“My decision is based on the fact that some of the teachings and utterances of Fr. Mbaka at the Catholic Adoration Ministry are not consistent with the teachings and faith of the Catholic Church,” Mr Onaga said.
He, however, enjoined “all Christian faithful to keep praying for Fr. Mbaka.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that this is coming barely hours after Mbaka had apologised to Mr Peter Obi, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party for 2023 general election.
Recall that the priest had during one of adoration programme few days ago declared that Mr Obi, who he described as “a stingy man”, who would never rule Nigeria.
He had said that until Mr Obi came and knelt before the adoration altar that his presidential ambitions would be in vain.
The outburst did not go down well with many Nigerians, especially the youths who had fallen in love with Mr Obi’s candidature as they recommended appropriate sanctions be given to him.
Mr Mbaka’s comment had set social media on fire as many had condemned it.
Recalled that this was not the first time Mr Mbaka is facing sanctions from the Enugu Catholic Diocese over political comments.
The Diocesan authority had last year, after placing his activities on hold for a month, also converted the adoration ministry to chaplaincy and he was then asked to keep off politics.
But Mr Mbaka who always speaks on issues during his programmes on adoration ground had reacted the no to the changes that no one would stop him from speaking.
“Those who think Mbaka will be quiet, you are wasting your time,” he had said last year in reaction to the ban placed on him from commenting on political activities.