The Catholic Church has distanced itself from the Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, over his perceived politically charged statements.
We had reported on Monday that outspoken Catholic Priest, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, on a video which has since gone viral, told PDP vice presidential candidate, Peter Obi, during a church event that that he and Atiku Abubakar’s presidential bid would end in shame, if they continued on the same trajectory.
Mbaka who was Peter Obi in Igbo language during the annual harvest and bazaar celebration of the church on Sunday, said, “(Former) governor, listen, so that we won’t be deceiving God.
“As you are standing in the presence of these children of God, tell God what you will do for Him. It means you don’t want to do anything for God.
“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.”
While speaking in an exclusive interview with PUNCH Newspaper, the Director of Communications, Catholic Diocese of Enugu, Rev. Fr. Benjamin Achi, in a reaction to Mbaka’s comments, distanced the Catholic Church from the cleric’s politically charged statements.
Achi who disclosed that the diocese was not in support of the Mbaka’s remarks, noted that it was wrong for priests to make political statements from the pulpit.
When asked if Mbaka was still a member of the diocese, Achi said, “He is”, adding that “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. 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.”
Achi noted that if necessary, disciplinary action against Mbaka would be carried out by the priest’s administrative head.