Monday, June 12, 2017

Pope Francis Angry With Nigerian Priests

Pope Francis has laid down an ultimatum to defiant Nigerian priests: lose your job if you don’t obey me and your bishop.

According to a report by Associated Press, Pope Francis met June 8 at the Vatican with a delegation from the Ahiara diocese, south-east Nigeria where priests have been refusing to accept the 2012 appointment by the then pontiff, Benedict XVI, of the local bishop.

The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, reporting the pope’s unusually harsh order, said on Sunday that Francis was acting “for the good of the people of God” by threatening to suspend the priests from the ministry if they didn’t pledge in a letter, by July 9, “total obedience” to Francis and accept Bishop Peter Okpaleke’s appointment.

Mr. Francis told the visiting delegation he was “very sad” about the priests’ refusal to obey and ruled out tribal loyalties as explaining the refusal.

Africa has been one of the continents where the Catholic church is growing. The faithful and clergy there often imbue their practices with local culture in dynamic contrast to more traditional routines in Europe or North America.

Francis’ move to end disobedience to the Vatican aims at ensuring the growing church there will be loyal to the pontiff.

His remarks to the visiting delegation indicated how dangerous he viewed any rebellion against papal authority.

Those priests opposing Mr. Okpaleke’s taking up of his office “want to destroy the church, which is not permitted,” the pope said in his address to the delegation.

He added: “the pope can’t be indifferent” to the rebellion.

He has often taken a conciliatory tone in resolving disputes, but in this one he was entertaining no diplomacy. He demanded that each priest in the diocese write to him asking forgiveness and “clearly manifest total obedience to the pope.”

They must also accept the bishop chosen by Rome. If, within a month, each priest doesn’t do so, he will be “ispo facto suspended,” such as from the celebration of the sacraments, and “will lose his current office,” Francis warned.

Francis acknowledged that his move “seems very harsh.” He added that he had even considered the extraordinary remedy of suppressing the entire diocese but didn’t, so as not to hurt rank-and-file faithful.

He said he thought the rebellious priests might have been manipulated from outside the diocese or even abroad, but named no culprits.

In 2015, the diocese served around 520,000 Catholics, out of a local population of about 675,000, and had 128 diocesan priests and seven other priests. It wasn’t immediately clear how many of the priests were involved in the rebellion against the bishop’s appointment.


  1. Please fire those that need to be fired.My ex parish priest embezzled our millions ..these young priests have no respect for priesthood at all;!!!!

  2. Nigerians sha. Always different

  3. The local Igbo residents in that location refused to accept Peter Okpaleke as their new Bishop simply because Peter Okpaleke despite being Igbo himself is not from that area. This is what this case is all about.

    What would these Igbo people would have done if Peter Okpaleke is Yoruba or Hausa?

    This incident is similar to what happened a few years ago when a sitting governor of one Igbo state started sacking fellow Igbos just simply because those Igbo guys were from other Igbo states.

    Are these iigbo people truly real?

    Even within your Igbo community you discriminate against each other.

    How are these roaches going to maintain a country of their own if they are allowed to have Biafra? The minorities that will be in that Biafra will truly suffer.

    Now, the Pope has put them on notice and thereby making the whole world to see what kind of people these people are.

    It was this kind of attitude that made the late Sardauna of Sokoto and also the late Premier of Northern Region of Nigeria to publicly televised that they would rather employ foreigners like Indians into the northern civil service rather than employing any Igbo. A clip of this can be seen on youtube.

    And, yet the Igbos aare always playing victims and claiming that they are mostly being discriminated against in Nigeria when the reverse is actually the truth, as no non-Igbo is discriminating against them. They are the ones discriminating not only against each other but also against those who are non-igbo in Nigeria.

    I stand to be corrected if I am wrong in my analysis instead of being called a goat or hater by cretins. No hating here, just simply stating nothing but the truth.


  4. Also, Ladun, your heading should have been:


    This is what this case is all about.

    If people can be discriminating, doing nepotism and favouritism amongst each other even in churches, what would they be doing to other people outside the church?

    Your response is good as mine.


  5. Everything boils down to tribalism and all in Nigeria. When will it end I beg??? Now even the church is doing it. God help and save us