The Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Enugu, Bishop Calistus Onaga, has banned Catholics, including clergy, from attending the Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka Worship Ministry over his recent statements in ministry.
This is contained in a letter signed personally by the Bishop of the Diocese of Enugu, Bishop Callitus Onaga and addressed to ‘All Clergy, Religious and Lay Faithful of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu’ on Saturday in Enugu.
Onaga forbade them to have anything to do with the Ministry of Worship.
The letter stated: “In light of developments at the Enugu Catholic Worship Ministry Chaplaincy, capable of undermining Catholic faith and teachings and after several fraternal corrections and warnings to Fr. Ejike Mbaka, Ministry Chaplain.
“Having given him pastoral directives and guidelines for the Ministry of Chaplaincy, which he persistently violated.
“In fulfillment of my pastoral duties as Senior Pastor with the obligation to promote and safeguard Catholic faith and morals in the Diocese of Enugu, I hereby prohibit all Catholics (clergy, religious and lay faithful) from now on from attending to all religious and liturgical activities of the Diocese of Enugu. Ministry of Catholic Worship until the conclusion of the canonical due process initiated by the Diocese.
“My decision is based on the fact that some of Fr. Mbaka’s teachings and statements in the Catholic Worship Ministry are not consistent with the teachings and faith of the Catholic Church,” Onaga said.
However, he exhorted “all the Christian faithful to continue praying for Fr. Mbaka”.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that this comes just hours after Mbaka apologized to Peter Obi, the Labor Party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 general election.
Recall that the priest had declared during one of the worship programs a few days ago that Obi, whom he described as “a stingy man”, would never rule Nigeria.
He had said that until Obi arrived and knelt before the altar of worship, his presidential ambitions would be in vain.
The outburst did not go over well with many Nigerians, especially young people who had fallen in love with Obi’s candidacy, as they recommended appropriate sanctions be applied to him.
Mbaka’s comment had set social media on fire as many had condemned him.
He recalled that it was not the first time that Fr. Mbaka faced sanctions from the Catholic Diocese of Enugu for political comments.
The diocesan authority last year, after suspending its activities for a month, also converted the ministry from worship to chaplaincy and was then asked to stay away from politics.
But Mbaka, who always talks about topics during his programs in the field of worship, had reacted not to the changes that no one would stop him from talking about.
“Those who think that Mbaka will keep quiet are wasting their time,” he said last year in reaction to the ban on him from commenting on political activities,” he said.