By Uchenna Odo
Though the Catholic Church has clarified that Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka was not removed from his Adoration Ministry, ‘but sent to monastery to listen to God’, some faithful say his absence will adversely affect indigent surviving through his charity.
Recall that Mbaka announced his being sent to the monastery Sunday during a Mass marking the re-opening of the Adoration Ministry Enugu Nigeria, which was shut in July this year over alleged Mbaka’s political incitements.
Mbaka had told his Adoration congregants that Rev Fr Tony Amadi would be superintending the ministry until a further directive by the Catholic bishop of Enugu Diocese, Dr Calistus Onaga.
A Catholic priest, who preferred anonymity, told our reporter that, “The Catholic church is hierarchical not democratic. Every priest has a duty to obey his bishop which was the oath he took on the day of his ordination, so those calling Bishop names are people without the knowledge of the teaching of the church.
“Fr Mbaka is not dead. He just changed a prayer location. By God’s grace, he will come back to his ministry.”
A lay faithful in the Adoration, Mr Michael Ani, said, “Mbaka has apologized for his utterances; why sending him away from Adoration? Is the church aware of indigent people depending on Mbaka for medical bills, school fees, house rents? How will those people survive? Does the church have provisions for such people?”
Meanwhile, the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria has clarified that Fr Mbaka was not removed from his ministry. The secretariat said the recommendation for Mbaka to spend time in solitude was to enable him to hear what the spirit of God had to tell him.
A statement issued in Abuja by the national director of social communications of the secretariat, Fr Padre Michael Umoh, stated that, “Going by an interview with the Director of Communications, Enugu Diocese, Rev Fr Ben Achi, Very Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka was not removed from the Adoration Ministry, as many reports are suggesting.
“Rather, according to Fr Achi, since it was recommended that Fr Mbaka take time away in solitude, in order to listen to what the Spirit of God has to tell him, he was allowed to propose a priest to administer, in the interim, to the faithful at the Adoration Ministry.
“With the approval of his Bishop, on Sunday, 2 October 2022, Fr Mbaka introduced Fr Anthony Amadi to the worshippers. Unfortunately, some people were still not pleased and would prefer that Fr. Mbaka remain.
“What every true Christian, and especially every true Catholic, should do at this moment is to commit our dear brother and priest, Fr Mbaka, to God in prayers so that he may, through this moment, encounter God specially, come out stronger and better in recognizing His will for him and gain more graces to channel those rare gifts for His glory and for the sanctification of the people of God and society at large.
“The Church loves Fr Mbaka and cherishes him as an illustrious son.”