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Catholics Protest As Bishop Sacks Holy Ghost Priests In Anambra

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Catholic church members In Nnewi have protested against the sack of Holy Ghost Priests.

 

The Holy Ghost Priests were sacked by the Bishop forcing Catholics to protest against the action.

 

The Holy Ghost Fathers have been in charge of the St Martin’s Church for over 100 years.

 

During their stay, they established many churches and schools, including the popular Holy Ghost Juniorate Seminary, Ihiala and some universities in parts of the country.

 

However, according to a report by The Nation, during a recent meeting with priests in the Diocese, the Bishop of Diocese of Nnewi, Anambra State, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye, was said to have informed the Holy Ghost Fathers and members of the parish council to vacate the place immediately.

 

The Holy Ghost Fathers in return have said that they would not be complying with the directive as they insisted that it was not the Bishop that gave them the parish.

 

The Bishop had, however, agreed to leave the Juniorate Seminary, Ihiala and the Spiritan Farms, Okija for the Holy Ghost Fathers.

 

Reacting to the development, some concerned citizens of Ihiala and other parishioners organised a protest around the church.

 

The protesters, who marched through the Saint Martin’s Catholic Church Ihiala and along the roads with chaplets, called the move by the Bishop a draconian decision.

 

Secretary of the Coordinating Committee of the Concerned Ihiala Citizens, Nonye Chukwu told newsmen that the people of Ihiala wrote to the Bishop urging him not to sack the priest but he did not heed their advice.

 

He said, “We are having a problem with our Bishop. He issued an order that Holy Ghost Fathers who stay at St. Martins should pack out and that he doesn’t want them in Ihiala anymore. This didn’t go down well with Ihiala Catholic Church members .

“These Holy Ghost fathers have become endangered species. Immediately after the Nigerian civil war, the then government alleged that they were responsible for prolonging the war and then sacked them from Eastern Nigeria.

“Those of them who were foreigners left, while the Indigenous ones continued their missionary work up till now(Congregation) and they are the ones Bishop wants to sack.

“Where does he want them to go to? We have every reason to say no irrespective of the fact that he has all the powers on earth as Bishop.

“These Holy Ghost priests sustained our people during the war as some of them were even emergency pilots who brought relief materials to the war ravaged areas of the country”.

 

Speaking further, Chukwu argued that irrespective of the fact that the Holy Ghost Fathers are considered missionaries they should still have a base.

 

He insisted that they are still Catholic Priest and should be treated with the same respect.

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