Catholic Diocese has distanced itself from the Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, over his statements that the joint presidential candidature of Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi under the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) will end in shame.
In a video that has since gone viral, Mbaka was seen talking to the vice-presidential candidate of the PDP, Peter Obi, during the annual harvest and bazaar celebration of the church on Sunday.
Addressing Obi in Igbo language, Mbaka 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.”
But the Director of Communications, Catholic Diocese of Enugu, Rev. Fr. Benjamin Achi, in an interview with journalists, said the diocese was not in support of the cleric’s remarks.
He, however, noted that it was wrong for priests to make political statements from the pulpit.
Achi said, “The diocese is not in support of any priest making political statements.
“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 (Rev. Mbaka) 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.
When asked if Mbaka was still a member of the diocese, Achi said, “He is.”