The Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Calistus Onaga, has barred Catholics from attending Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka’s Adoration Ministry over his recent comments about Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party.
“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,” Mr Onaga said.
This is contained in a letter he signed and addressed to ‘All the Clergy, Religious and Lay Faithful in the Catholic Diocese of Enugu’ on Saturday.
He said the development followed Mr Mbaka’s violations of pastoral guidelines, which are “capable of undermining the Catholic faith and teachings” despite “several fraternal corrections and admonitions.”
“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, urged “all Christian faithful to keep praying for Mr Mbaka.”
This comes hours after Mr Mbaka apologised to Mr Obi.
Mr Mbaka had, during one of the adoration programmes a few days ago, declared that the presidential candidate, who he described as “a stingy man”, would never rule Nigeria.
He had said that until Mr Obi came and knelt before the adoration alter, 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.