Bishop Calistus Onaga, the Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, has banned Catholic faithful from attending Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka’s Adoration Ministry.
This ban came on the heels of Mbaka’s recent vituperation against the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi.
Mbaka had during his mid-week prayer activities described the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, as a ‘stingy man’ and would not be a Nigeria’s president.
He also said that the candidate was cursed.
Shortly after, the Catholic Diocese of Enugu disassociated itself from the utterances, noting that Mbaka’s attack on Obi breached Canon 220 of 1983 Code of Canon Law that prohibited anyone from illegitimately harming the good name of a person.
In a letter Bishop Onaga personally signed, which was addressed to ‘All the Clergy, Religious and Lay Faithful in the Catholic Diocese of Enugu’, banned them from having anything to do with the Adoration Ministry.
He said in the letter that Mbaka, having refused to heed to the Church’s persistent directives, “and in fulfillment of my pastoral duties as the Chief Shepherd, I hereby prohibit all Catholics (clergy, religious and lay faithful) henceforth from attending all religious and liturgical activities of the Cathooic Adoration Ministry until the due canonical process initiated by the Diocese is concluded.”
While noting that his decision was based on the fact that Mbaka’s teaching and utterances were not consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church, he enjoined “all Christian faithful to keep praying for Fr. Mbaka.”
Meanwhile, some members of the Adoration Ministry have differed on the decision of the Enugu Diocese of the Catholic Church to ban faithful from attending Fr. Mbaka’s church.
While some expressed shock over the development, others stated that it was a development long expected.
One of the followers, Damian Ihuoma, said, “The news came to me as a rude shock. I planned to take my daughter to Adoration for dedication tomorrow (Sunday) but as it is now, there is nothing I can do than to reschedule it.
“I am Catholic and I believe in her teaching of obedience. Since this evening, I have been sending text messages to friends that they shouldn’t come again. So, the ban came as a surprise.”
Another follower, Anthony Okechukwu, said, “It is expected by those who know the Catholic church and how it operates; slow to anger but firm in decision. I told my friends that the issue of Peter Obi may sink Mbaka and the Adoration Ministry. The matter hasn’t ended oo!
“The statement that the ban will be followed by canonical processes is pregnant. If the allegations of insubordination and unethical practices are proven, the maximum result will be expulsion, especially when it was alleged that he had been warned several times in the past.
“The best anyone that loves him can do is to pray for him, after all, there are some good aspects of him we can’t deny. Even the Bishop’s letter was clear on the fact that he needs our prayers. Let’s pray for him instead of apportioning blames.”
Members of the Adoration Ministry, who called for prayers, expressed the need to close rank and go into prayers for Mbaka to come out stronger and not fail in his faith during the trial period.
One of them, a former seminarian, Godwin Eze, told Sunday PUNCH that “what we owe Rev. Fr. Camillus Ejike Mbaka right now is prayers.”