Thursday, August 26, 2021 10:00 am
The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has explained why it banned the Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministries Enugu Nigeria (AMEN), Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka and other priests from using their position or ecclesiastical property to promote what appeared to be partisan politics.
In an address to the faithful at the opening mass of the ongoing second CBCN plenary in Enugu, the President of the conference and Archbishop of Benin Catholic Archdiocese, Most Rev. Augustine Akubeze, said it was not the practice of the church to identify unelected leaders through prophetic visions, dreams or revelation.
“Anyone who pronounces a particular candidate as God’s anointed political leader,” the prelate added, “is not speaking for the church.”
He said: “We will like to state that the church is interested in the political situation in Nigeria. Although the church does not support any party, it praises every government that prioritises the welfare of the citizens. At the same time, the church condemns any government policy that is not people-friendly.
“We must make it clear once again that no cleric is expected to use his position or ecclesiastical property to promote what appears to be partisan politics. The church believes that political parties have persons that can lead. There is no party that has monopoly of good leaders. There is no party that has monopoly of bad leaders.
“Therefore, it is imperative that clerics must avoid every form of political endorsement using the ecclesiastical positions given them. At the same time, it is not the practice of the church to identify unelected leaders through some form of prophetic visions or dreams or revelation,” he said.
Archbishop Akubeze, who explained the role of clerics educating the people to choose leaders who would work for the good of humanity, advised diocesan bishops to ensure that actions were taken when any priest or religious leader violated the traditional Catholic belief.
The Nation reports that in June, the Catholic Church banned Fr Mbaka from commenting on partisan politics.
In a letter to the cleric, the Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga, announced the conversion of the Adoration Ministry to a chaplaincy, which would bring it under the control of the Enugu Diocese, with the bishop having the power to appoint a chaplain to oversee its operations