Catholic bish­ops ban priests, mem­bers from ‘ac­tive pol­i­tics’

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Ab­bas Ji­moh

Ahead of the 2019 gen­eral elec­tions, the Catholic Bish­ops Con­fer­ence of Nige­ria (CBCN) has banned Catholic priests and faith­ful of con­se­crated life from en­gag­ing in par­ti­san pol­i­tics in­clud­ing be­com­ing a mem­ber of any po­lit­i­cal party.

The Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, Catholic Sec­re­tariat of Nige­ria (CSN), Rev. Fr. Ralph Madu, who gave the or­der yes­ter­day in Abuja on be­half of the Catholic Bish­ops, frowned at the pub­lic al­ter­ca­tion be­tween Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka and former Anam­bra State Gov­er­nor and vice pres­i­den­tial can­di­date of the Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP), Mr. Peter Obi.

The al­ter­ca­tion oc­curred re­cently at Fr. Mbaka’s ado­ra­tion ground in Enugu.

Ac­cord­ing to the Rev. Fr. Madu, the Bish­ops con­demn, the shame­ful sce­nario on an ado­ra­tion ground, as con­tained in video record­ing that has gone vir­ile on so­cial me­dia, and that with­out reser­va­tion the re­ported in­ci­dent does not have the sup­port of the Bish­ops Con­fer­ence of Nige­ria.

“As has al­ways been our stand, the Catholic church in Nige­ria as clearly stated in their Au­gust 7, 2018 di­rec­tives, re­mains apo­lit­i­cal and does not sup­port or sub­scribe to any po­lit­i­cal party. Our con­cern is for a peace­ful elec­tion process seen to be free, fair, cred­i­ble and just, and a demo­cratic gover­nance that guar­an­tees peace, jus­tice, eq­uity, among oth­ers.

“On be­half of the con­fer­ence, we wish to re­it­er­ate their obli­ga­tion as teach­ers of faith and morals, to ed­u­cate the faith­ful on their role in the po­lit­i­cal life of the coun­try, mind­ful of the present charged po­lit­i­cal at­mos­phere of Nige­ria. With the on­go­ing cam­paigns of po­lit­i­cal par­ties gath­er­ing mo­men­tum, we deemed it nec­es­sary to again re­mind all priests and re­li­gious to keep to the po­si­tion of the church on the is­sue of non­par­ti­san pol­i­tics,” Madu said.

While say­ing that they are sure that the Enugu dio­cese, where Rev. Mbaka is in­car­di­nated, is tak­ing ap­pro­pri­ate mea­sures on the in­ci­dent, they re­it­er­ated that no Catholic priest or peo­ple of con­se­crated life should be ac­tively in­volved in par­ti­san pol­i­tics in obe­di­ence on the Canon Law of the Catholic.

“We also en­joined the lay faith­ful to play their roles in the forth­com­ing elec­tions premised on good con­science, play their roles at the elec­tion within prej­u­dice or in­duce­ment and en­sure that their votes count and the right peo­ple votes into power for the com­mon good,” he said.

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