Posted by Ifeoma Okafor, Awka | 23 February 2018 | 3,121 times
Reactions have continued to trail the resignation of the Catholic Bishop of Ahiara Diocese, Mbaise, Imo State, Most Rev (Dr) Peter Okpalaeke.
In his reaction, the Archbishop of St. Peter’s Deliverance Church, Okpoko, in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State, Gabriel Chukwudi Odili Opukiri, condemned the action of those who prevented the Bishop from performing his missionary work.
He said: “Those who did this do not know God and they are not born to be of the Catholic faith; if not how can Catholic priests be against another Catholic priest heading a Catholic Diocese because the priest is not from the same area with them?
“Their action is barbaric and unheard of in the Catholic Church that is a family without discrimination amongst brethren. What then do those priests preach at the pulpit? I am yet to come to terms with the fact that they remained adamant despite Pope Francis’ earlier intervention which they ignored.
“Who are they to refuse or query the authority of the Catholic Pontiff, Pope Francis, ordained by God?
“The Chairman of the Catholic Priests Association in Ahiara Diocese, Rev Fr. Austin Ekechukwu, who said the people were excited because of Okpalaeke’s resignation, should wait for their turn – they are not God.
“Also the President of the Catholic Men Organization there, Gerald Anyanwu, a member of the laity council, is not left out for it was a concerted effort with the priests to refuse Bishop Okpalaeke coming into the Diocese to work. Their action will no doubt set wrong precedence on other Dioceses and the entire Catholic community.”
Opukiri, however, warned those who “jubilate and take possession” that “it is not yet uhuru”. According to him, “for you all who stopped his work at Ahiara Diocese, I know from your letter of apology to Pope, you are just shedding crocodile tears; if not why do you jubilate now that he has resigned?”
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