The Catholic Diocese of Enugu has condemned and dissociated the diocese from the inflammatory political utterances of the Director of Catholic Adoration Ministry Chaplaincy, Rev. Fr. Camillus Ejike Mbaka against Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general elections.
The Diocese described the vituperation of Fr Mbaka against Obi as unbecoming and divisive, which it said breached canon 220 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law which prohibits anyone from illegitimately harming the good name of a person.
The statement titled: “disclaimer; Re: In Inflammatory Political Utterances By Fr. Camillus Ejike Mbaka,” was signed by Very Rev. Fr. Wilfred Chidi Agubuchie, Chancellor/Secretary; Very Rev. Fr. Geoffrey Aguigwo, Vicar General and Most Rev. Ernest Anezichukwu Obodo, Auxiliary Bishop of Enugu Diocese.
The Church, however, warned Fr Mbaka to refrain from making further provocative prophecies or utterances capable of heating the polity. It advised the Catholic faithful to pray for peace during the elections and discharge their civic responsibilities by getting their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), and casting their votes to elect the right candidates.
The statement which was addressed to all the people of God and the general public, reads, “The attention of the Diocesan Bishop, Most Rev. Callistus V.C. Onaga, and the Catholic
Diocese of Enugu has been drawn to the inflammatory political utterances by Rev. Fr. Camillus Ejike Mbaka, the Director of Catholic Adoration Ministry Chaplaincy Enugu, on Wednesday, 15 June 2022 during his Wednesday Adoration Programme.
“Fr. Mbaka during his preaching attacked the good reputation of Mr. Peter Obi, the Labour Party Presidential Candidate, describing him as “a stingy man” and as “a joker”, contrary to canon 220 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law which prohibits anyone from illegitimately harming the good name of a person.
“He also made fun of the Labour Party and vowed that Mr. Obi could not be the president of Nigeria.
“This is a clear violation of the provisions of canon 287 $2 which forbids priests from engaging in partisan politics.
“The Catholic Diocese of Enugu hereby condemns and dissociates herself from such unbecoming and divisive utterances from Fr. Mbaka.
“We notify the general public that Fr. Mbaka’s views on the matter are entirely personal to him and do not represent the position of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu.
“In an effort to keep him united to the Body of Christ, we enjoin him to refrain from making further provocative prophecies or utterances capable of heating up the polity. We assure the people of God and the general public that the Catholic Diocese of Enugu is taking the due canonical process.
“Finally, we urge all the People of God to continue to pray for peaceful elections and to discharge their civic responsibilities by getting their Permanent Voter Card (PVC) and casting their votes in order to elect the right candidates.
“May Our Lady, Queen of Nigeria, intercede for us.”