The Vatican rebukes followers of Father Mbaka’s Adoration Ministry for threatening to kill Bishop Callistus Onaga of Enugu Catholic Diocese.
Vatican Ambassador to Nigeria, Antonio Guido Filipazzi, scolded Mbaka’s followers in a homily he delivered yesterday in Owerri, Imo State. The occasion was the ordination of new Archbishop of Owerri, Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji, appointed last month by Pope Francis.
Filipazzi specifically cited an online video of the death threat on Bishop Onaga which he said was “unacceptable.” The video showed protesters marching in Enugu to express their anger at the closure of Mbaka’s ministry by Bishop Onaga. One protester who gave his name as Elijah openly boasted that he will find and kill the bishop.
“I was surprised to see an online video where a protester threatened to kill Bishop Callistus Onaga, Bishop of Enugu. This is unacceptable in the church of God.
“The people of God must be mindful of the abuse of the social media to cause the church scandals.
“You must bear in mind that the Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, and not a place where people take laws into their hands,” he warned.
Filipazzi frowned at those fomenting divisive tendencies within the Church. Such tendencies lower the growth of society, including the family, education, and the economy, he said.
“I must warn the people of God against disobedience to the church’s constituted authorities. You must not take the laws into your hands as followers of Jesus Christ.
He urged theCatholic faithful to honour their bishops and respect the laws of the church. He also echoed Bishop Onaga’s advise to Father Mbaka to always proclaim the undiluted gospel and stand by Church doctrine.
Genesis of the problem
Father Ejike Mbaka repeatedly flouted the directives of his Bishop to always temper his preaching when addressing people, especially politicians.
Matters came to a head last month when Mbaka claimed that Labour Party flagbearer, Mr. Peter Obi, was “going nowhere” because of his “stinginess.”
The flippant remark provoked an uproar among the army of supporters of the candidate, forcing Bishop Onaga to issue yet another rebuke.
He followed this up by barring all Catholics from attending Adoration Ministry activities until further notice. This effectively closed the Ministry.
The members took to the streets to protest the bishop’s action. They also continued to throng the grounds of the Ministry hoping that masses and other activities will resume.
Father Mbaka however addressed them last Wednesday to stop visiting because the Ministry will not open until the Bishop says so.
“I am a priest of the Catholic Church, and the bishop is my father. I swore an oath to obey him and his successors (and) I cannot do otherwise,” he said.
Vatican rebukes Mbaka’s followers on threat to Bishop’s life