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Sunday, July 09, 2017

Comply with Pope’s directive, Cardinal Onaiyekan urges Ahiara priests

The Apostolic Administrator of Ahiara Diocese and Archbishop of Abuja Archdiocese, John Cardinal Onaiyekan has called on the incardinated priests of the diocese of Ahiara Diocese to comply with the recent directive of the Holy Father Pope Francis, over of non-acceptance of the Bishop appointed for them, reports ITRealms.

This is coming as the deadline for the rebelling priest to declare their intent ends today, Sunday 9, July 2017 based on the directive of Pope Francis. 

The cardinal’s admonition was contained in a Fraternal Message addressed to the priest of the diocese; in which Cardinal Onaiyekan called on the priests not to be “confused, misled or distracted” by some mischievous  publications querying or even denying the authenticity of the document containing the verdict of the Pope. 

“I am aware that some mischievous publications are making the rounds querying or even denying the authenticity of the document carrying the papal verdict. If those behind such ideas are serious and honest, they ought to simply seek confirmation from the usual authentic and official news channels of the Holy See, open to everyone. I urge you all not to allow yourselves to be confused, misled and distracted by such publications.”

Cardinal Onaiyekan maintained that ‘There is no more time for playing any games or prevaricating’ stressing that Pope Francis has spoken and his words must be treated with utmost seriousness by anyone who considers himself a Catholic, and more especially, a Catholic Priests. 

Believing that the one month of grace given by the Holy Father to the priests to comply with his directive comes to an end, Cardinal Onaiyekan outlined how the individual letter of apology by the priests could get to the Holy Father.

“I have been praying fervently for all of you, with special remembrance at my daily Holy Masses, that the Holy Spirit of Truth may guide everyone to take the right decision on this very important matter,” he said.

ITRealms recalls that the Holy Father Pope Francis, after a recent meeting with representatives of priests and lay faithful of Ahiara diocese, in Rome, urged the faithful of the diocese to submit to the supremacy of the Holy Father and the Church and bring to an end the impasse going on in the diocese over the installation of their Bishop. Just as he also issued an ultimatum to the priests and other consecrated persons of the diocese to prevent what he described as an attempt to take the ‘vineyard of the Lord’.

“Whoever was opposed to Bishop Okpaleke taking possession of the Diocese wants to destroy the Church. This is forbidden; perhaps he does not realize it, but the Church is suffering as well as the People of God within her. The Pope cannot be indifferent,” Pope Francis had said.

He noted that the Church is a mother and cannot abandon her many children, emphasizing that “whoever offends her commits a mortal sin. I feel sorrow for those priests who are being manipulated even from abroad and from outside the diocese.”

He therefore ordered every priest who is incardinated in the diocese, living or working in the diocese or elsewhere in the diaspora to write an individual, personal letter “to me in which he asks for forgiveness”.


Doris Minimah/GEE
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