Angry Mbaka Followers Protest Transfer To Monastery, Chases New Chaplain Away

The Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Callistus Onaga, has transferred Fr Ejike Mbaka the Chaplain and spiritual director of the Adoration Ministries, Enugu, Nigeria (AMEN) to the Monastery.

This decision by the Catholic Secretariat has drawn the ire of Mbaka’s followers, who protested the decision and chased the new chaplain out of the ministry.

This came as the church issued a clarification on the reports of the transfer.

This was disclosed by the National Director of Social Communications, CSN, Padre Nsikak-Umoh, in a statement on Monday, titled, “Fr. Mbaka: The True Position.”

Nsikak-Umoh noted that Mbaka was the one who recommended his replacement to head the ministry for the time he would be away ‘in solitude’ and not the Bishop of the Enugu Diocese, Most Revd Callistus Onaga.

According to him, it was with the approval of Onaga, that Mbaka introduced Amadi as the new interim leader of the ministry to worshippers, pending his return; a move which was greeted with protests by some faithful.

The statement read, “Going by an interview with the Director of Communications, Enugu Diocese, Rev. Fr. Ben Achi, Very Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka was not removed from the Adoration Ministry, as many reports are suggesting.

“Rather, according to Fr. Achi, since it was recommended that Fr. Mbaka takes time away in solitude, to listen to what the Spirit of God has to tell him, he was allowed to propose a priest to administer, in the interim, to the faithful at the Adoration Ministry.

“With the approval of his bishop, on Sunday, October 2, 2022, Fr. Mbaka introduced Fr. Anthony Amadi to the worshippers.

Mbaka personally made the announcement during the Sunday Mass and disclosed that the bishop had appointed Fr Anthony Amadi as his successor and would be assisted by other priests, who he did not disclose.

“So, while I proceed to the monastery to continue with the remaining disciplinary exercises, as directed; I wouldn’t know how long; but the church has appointed Fr Anthony Amadi, one of us, to be overseeing all affairs of the ministry, to be assisted by other priests, pending my return, by the grace of God,” Mbaka stated.

The former AMEN spiritual director had disclosed earlier that the ministry had not fully opened, pointing out that some programmes including the weekly Friday all-night adoration remained suspended till further notice.

“Our Sunday Masses and Wednesdays’ ‘E No Dey Again’ programmes would continue, while others such as Friday all-night adoration remains suspended,” he stated.

But, the new spiritual director, who was present at the Mass, was nearly mobbed by angry worshippers after the announcement.

The angry worshippers had already surrounded him before AMEN security personnel rushed to his rescue and guided him to the Father’s House.

After Mbaka mentioned the new priest, the worshippers started shouting: “We say no, we say no,” “We no gree” (we won’t accept).

They proceeded to carry green leaves, thereby forcing Fr Mbaka to quickly conclude the Mass.

Thousands of worshippers, who were excited over the reopening of the prayer centre came from different places to worship with their spiritual director but were disappointed. They were left dejected following the latest development.

It was gathered that Fr Mbaka was only allowed to celebrate Mass at the centre so that he would personally make the announcement.

Recall that the Catholic Diocese of Enugu had on June 3 banned Mbaka over comments made to the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi after which activities in the ministry were suspended.

Meanwhile, Mbaka was said to have spoken about the 2023 general elections, describing some of the contestants as wasting their time.

Ada Peter
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