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Bishop of Mbaise.

Please take some time to watch this short video, showing a procession of Catholic Priests of Mbaise etymology. I personally recorded it at the sad occasion of the funeral Mass of my brother and friend, Rev. Dr. Charles Anyanwu on Monday.

I literally shed extra tears as I watched the long stream of priests filing past Fr. Charles casket on their way to the altar in readiness for the requiem Mass. And one question kept bothering me: Why on earth would Pope Francis not find any of these priests (I lost count after 210!) good enough to be the Bishop of Ahiara (Mbaise) diocese?

As a matter of fact, the priests in attendance on Monday were perhaps one third or a quarter of indigenous Mbaise priests (two of whom are my younger siblings) spread across the world. We have about 1000 priests! Yes!!!

For those who are not familiar with the story, the Mbaise Diocese has been without a Bishop for over five years following the refusal of majority of the Mbaise Catholic Presbyterium to accept Bishop Okpaleke, who, they believe, was imposed on them by the manipulative effort of some powerful forces outside the diocese. First, the people argued why a non-indigene cannot be appointed a Bishop after the demise of Bishop Victor Chikwe, first Bishop of Ahiara diocese and a son of the soil. Then, they wondered by the Bishop purportedly sanctioned by His Holiness must be from Onitsha Diocese, following a curious pattern of Bishopric appointments which favored priests from that area.
There has been a lot of issues including protests, which were seen by some people, especially non-indigenes of Mbaise and the reticent local Roman Catholics, who'd rather the people accepted the wish of the Holy See without question, as heretic.

However, some of us, the more inquisitive and perhaps more "exposed" Catholics together with most of the indigenous priests want answers to the questions above. The late Bishop Chikwe, by tradition, left a list of three possible successors. What happened to that list? So, the Holy Father found them unsuitable for the position? Fine. Why not another Mbaise priest, what with several of them around the world with excellent academic and managerial records? By the way, the minimum qualification is five years of priesthood. Cardinal Okojie attained the rank even earlier than five years after ordination as a priest!

Let me make this clear, Mbaise people are NOT ethnic bigots, as some people make it seem. I am not, for one, and many of my friends know so. We, however, won't want anybody to hide behind "the wish of the Pope" or "don't question the will of God" to foist injustice on a people who deserve to be treated differently.

There's a cabal at the Vatican with roots in Nigeria hellbent on foisting an Akwa diocesan or Onitsha Ecclesiastical hegemony on the Catholic Church. They are at it again in Aba diocese, and the people have told them in unmistakable terms it won't happen! Why are people being deceived in the name of God? Why the manipulation and outright falsehoods? In the church? Very unfortunate indeed, and the simpleminded are sadly gobbling up the hubris ad hominem.

It is not right to have most of the Bishops in the South East come from a particular place. I'll argue that is certainly not the will of God or Pope Francis, who, as we all know, relies on the advice of the people around him. Someone is playing a game and then pushing out falsehood to make the good and accommodating people of Mbaise look bad. And that cannot stand-and will NOT stand. You can quote me verbatim et literatim on this.

I stand of the side of justice. This is NOT about an Mbaise man becoming the Bishop but it is a case of injustice being packaged as intolerance and ethnic bigotry. God is watching all of us. Besides, the time has come for the faithful to question questionable church decisions which are passed off as the will of God. Our God is a JUST God.

 Justice will soon embrace the will of God and the right thing will be done in Mbaise.

 Mbaise nwere mmadu. Mbaise nwere ndi father!!!
Bishop of Mbaise. Bishop of Mbaise. Reviewed by Emeka Oparah on Wednesday, June 07, 2017 Rating: 5

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