Catholic Church reacts to Fr. Mbaka’s political statement.
The Catholic Church in Nigeria has officially reechoed the the laid down duties and responsibilities of his priests as teachers of morals and faith; expected to always educate faithfuls on their role in their countries political arrangement.
The reiteration of duties and briefs, may not be unconnected with the recent
spat between one of its priests, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, the Bishop of Enugu Diocese, and the vice presidential candidate of the opposition People Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Peter Obi at the Enugu Adoration Ground of the former.
In a video that has since gone viral, Mbaka was seen telling the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Peter Obi, during the annual harvest and bazaar celebration of the church on Sunday, that the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and his deputy designate would end up in shame in their quest to win the 2019 presidential election .
Let me believe in fear, but this is a political statement. God hates stinginess . What I am saying is not for your pleasure. I am saying what will save your life, otherwise, you and Atiku will fail. The way you and Atiku are moving will end in shame.”
But Rev. Fr. Benjamin Achi, the Director of Communications, Catholic Diocese of Enugu, in an interview with journalists said that the diocese was not in support of the cleric’ s remarks.
Achi, who responded affirmatively when asked whether Mbaka was still a member of the diocese, however pointed out that it is unethical and a breach of code of conduct for priests to make political statements from the pulpit.
“The diocese is not in support of any priest making political statements.
“The church is supposed to be apolitical and the Bishops’ conference has said that repeatedly.
“We are not supposed to make any political statements from the pulpit within the context of Mass that is, church service.
“So, it would be wrong to stand at the pulpit to make any political statements.
“There is a document issued by the Bishops’ conference to that effect.
The director went further to state without mincing words that Fr. Mbaka, was on his own as regards his statements on Sunday. “So, he just spoke on his own , not representing the diocese”
“We are not expected to come out openly to support a particular candidate for any reason. The church law does not accept such a thing. So, it would be wrong for anybody (priest) to come out and give an endorsement to a particular candidate”.