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Mbaise Catholic Priests Reject New Bishop

 

Priests and lay faithful of the Catholic Diocese of Ahiara, Mbaise on Thursday, staged a peaceful demonstration against the appointment of Monsignor Ebere Peter Okpalaeke as the bishop-elect of the diocese.

Apart from the peaceful demonstration staged at Mbaise, the priests and lay faithful handed out a six-paged press statement signed by eight persons, including the president and secretary, Ahiara Diocesan Priests Association, Rev. Fr. Austin B. Ekechukwu, Rev Fr. Dominic N. Ekweariri respectively.

“We, the priests and lay faithful of Ahiara Diocese state quite clearly that we have nothing whatsoever against the person of Monsignor Ebere Peter Okpalaeke and do not per se oppose his choice as a bishop of the Catholic church, but we strongly contest his suitability Ahiara Diocese, given its uniqueness and pastoral realities’, they stated.

While denying that it was alleged disunity amongst the priests of Ahiara Diocese that led to the appointment of a priest from Awa diocese as bishop-elect, the priests also challenged anybody to provide any evidence to the contrary.

“The appointment of Monsignor Okpalaeke contradicts natural justice. It sends a very reprehensible signal about the status and reputation of the 500 Catholic priests that trace their origin to the soils of Mbaise, a diocese that has been acclaimed the Ireland of Nigeria.

“In unequivocal terms, we restate our resolve to resist any attempt to forcefully impose him on us as the bishop of our beloved diocese.”

Meanwhile, some critics have not only slammed the protesting priests but also accused them of being myopic about the universality of the Catholic Church.

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Comments   

 
0 #1 Chinyere 2013-02-01 13:48
Where will this lead us to?There is no harm in fighting for Justice,but then are we still going to be one after this battle?May The Blessed Trinity come to your Aid.
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0 #2 Ucheoma Amadi 2013-05-22 21:23
My dearest brothers, worthy Sons of Mbaise and ordained Ministers of the Catholic church, you love the church so much and dedicated your whole life to serve her. What then will separate you from your God and your beloved church. Please build up your church and not destroy it for the sake of power and tribalism. You have cried enough and the world has heard you. Pls lay down your hatchets and embrace peace. Bishop Okpalake is a Son of the Church as well, pls give him a Chance to prove himself.
Sr. Laeticia Amadi, RSC
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