UPDATED: Enugu Catholic Diocese removes Mbaka, sent to monastery
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• Mbaka’s followers rebel against decision, chase new chaplain out
The Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev Callistus Onaga, has reposted the Chaplain and Spiritual Director, Adoration Ministry Chaplaincy, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, to monastery.
The new Chaplain of the Adoration Ministry Chaplaincy is now Rev Fr Anthony Amadi.
Fr. Mbaka’s followers, however, are rebelling against the decision, as the new Chaplain, Fr. Amadi, was reportedly chased out of the ministry by adorers as Mbaka’s followers are fondly called.
The PUNCH had reported that the Catholic Diocese of Enugu had on June 3 banned Mbaka from commenting on Political issues after activities in the ministry were suspended.
Upon reopening, the Church turned the ministry into Chaplaincy to give greater roll and to power monitor excesses in the ministry.
Shortly thereafter, Fr. Mbaka violated all the conditions and rules set out for the Chaplaincy, and went into verbal attack on the person of Peter Obi, calling him names in pulpit.
Sequel to the outrage that followed, Bishop Onaga issued a pastoral injunction directing all Catholic faithful, priests, sisters, religious to stop visiting the ministry until further notice.
The Bishop also advised Catholic faithful to pray for Mbaka.
Onaga had said, “In the light of the happenings in the Catholic Adoration Ministry Chaplaincy Enugu, capable of undermining the Catholic faith and teachings, and after several fraternal corrections and admonitions to Fr. Camillus Ejike Mbaka, the Chaplain of the Ministry; and after having given him pastoral directives and guidelines for the Ministry Chaplaincy, which he persistently violated.
“And 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.
“My decision is based on the fact that some of the teachings and utterances of Fr. Camillus Ejike Mbaka at the Catholic Adoration Ministry are not consistent with the teachings and faith of the Catholic Church.”
However, upon re-opening of Adoration chaplaincy on Sunday, Mbaka who bore a heavy heart, reportedly managed to announce to his admirer that he had been transferred to a monastery as his new pastoral place of work.
As he announced his successor, Fr. Amadi, the adorers revolted and rejected his successor, as most of them were alarmed, accusing the leadership of the diocese of conspiracy.
Mbaka told his supporters that his transfer was with immediate effect.
Some members of the ministry have described the development as unfortunate.
One of them who spoke to journalists on condition of anonymity said, “All along, the Bishop has been trying to take over the Adoration Ministry. But I can assure you that no priest will succeed there. So long as Fr. Mbaka is not there, nobody will come there to worship.
“This will lead to anarchy. It’s unthinkable that this kind of harsh decision could be made. We the adorers will never accept any other priest.
“Fr. Mbaka suffered and built that place with sole effort. Now they have tactically hijacked the place through the backyard. Let’s see how they will succeed.”
Meanwhile, the Church has remained silent on the issue of his transfer to monastery, as efforts to speak with the Director, Catholic Communication, Rev Fr. Benjamin Achi, were unsuccessful as his phone indicated switched off.