Cardinal Okogie Condemns Fr. Mbaka: “Keep Religion Out Of Politics”

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Former Archbishop of Lagos, Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie has criticized Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka‘s attack on Goodluck Jonathan.

In an interview with Vanguard, Okogie said such statements should not be said by a member of the clergy.

Excerpts from the interview below.

How do you see the statement credited to Rev. Father Ejike Mbaka?
Any serious priest will not speak the way he spoke. I am not saying that he is not serious. I will not agree with the things he said. According to what I read in the newspapers, a few weeks earlier, the First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, visited his Adoration Ground in Enugu and he prayed for her. At that occasion, he was said to have lambasted the opposition party, APC, and now to turn around overnight and start lambasting President Goodluck Jonathan shows that there is something wrong somewhere.

Personally, I felt bad because it is not the place of a priest to go to that extent. He can have his personal opinion, but to go to the extent that he went is abnormal. I want you to know that he wasn’t speaking for the church. He said he was moved by the spirit, and I wonder what kind of spirit was that.

He said he was under the inspiration of the spirit. If he was under the inspiration of the spirit, I wonder if the spirit is that of God. I don’t think the spirit he’s referring to is the spirit of God. He must have been under the influence of another spirit. He must have been listening to a wrong spirit.

Is the statement not embarrassing to the Catholic Church as a whole?
Indeed, it is. But I must say to you that he was not speaking on behalf of the church. No! No!! No!!! Anybody with such opinion is in error. The man cannot hold brief for the church. Pardon me, but how can I say you are bloody fool and anybody takes that to mean that all journalists are bloody fools. It’s very funny.

In a situation such as this, what does the Catholic Church do?
Well, the Catholic Church is structured in such a way that there are dioceses where each priest belongs. This particular priest happens to come from Enugu Diocese, so it is left for the bishop in charge of that diocese to discipline him. If the priest fails to obey the discipline, then the bishop is obligated to report the mother to the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN.

You may have heard the Bishop of Abuja Diocese, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, who said that if the priest were to be in his diocese, he would discipline him straight. But he is not in his diocese. The best anyone of us can do is just to advise him that he had gone too far and he is free to take our advice and he may not. God gave every one of us a free will and we are at liberty to use the freewill as we choose.

What kind of sanction can be given to such a priest?
It depends on his bishop. You cannot dictate for his bishop. Don’t forget that this same man was at loggerheads with a former governor of Enugu State, Chimaroke Nnamanni, and it was the same Adoration Ground in Enugu. If I have my way, we should close that place because a lot of things have been happening there that are out of tune. I think Gov. Peter Obi also went there for prayers at one point. If I have my way, I won’t go there for anything….

Your advice for politicians who are currently jostling for votes….
One of them came out publicly recently to say that if you are a politician and you cannot tell a lie…how then that anyone wants to go into politics? If they can openly say such a thing, it means they have been deceiving the people all this while. So, I don’t really know. Any good politician must, first and foremost, must have the fear of God in him. A responsible politician, irrespective of the office you are vying for—because they say whatever has a beginning must have an end—must begin by developing the fear of God in him because by and by your tenure will eventually come to an end.

It’s because of greed that most of them are clamouring for second or more terms. Any politician that has finished his first term and is asking for a second term, there is something wrong with him. If we look at it critically, after four years what is he clamouring for a second term for? I cannot understand Nigerians. Some of us are damn greedy. They don’t have the fear and respect for the down trodden.

Now they are up and about the whole place…they can even lick your boot now because they are canvassing for votes, but as soon as they get the votes they begin to show you pepper. They don’t regard the poor citizens that are out there; forgetting that someday and one day they may return to the status quo.

Whatever has a beginning must have an end. This is the time you get them talking but they won’t look at their manifestoes, but because they want to get to power they are going to everybody. Some of them have come to me here and I told them off: one of the first thing you’ve got to do is get religion off your mind because it is like putting petrol in a fire. You don’t mix politics with religion and some people came to me, saying, ‘Look at the situation in Lagos, what are we going to do?’ What are you going to do? Are they your God? Do they own the nation? The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Any clergyman that mixes religion with politics is finished including their church because they will not be spared.

Politicians are taking their campaigns to churches. Is it a healthy development?
It is not! They should keep religion out of politics. Don’t forget each person has his or her own mind. During harvest, you have the priest and the assistant priest and you go out to invite another priest to preach, that will affect what I am going give, because I have already made up my mind on what I am going to give. They come to church to canvas for votes.

It should not be allowed by anybody. I don’t really know what to do because this election, hmm hmm hmm, I am afraid. Imagine their utterances! Look at what Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) said about Shariah in 2011, that is what they are harping on now in 2015. Why? When did you hear about Shariah last? This kind of thing is annoying. Look at the recent campaign launch that produced over N21 billion. Where did they get the money from when people are hungry? No water. No electricity. No roads. I just wonder what kind of government we have in this country. These are all corrupt persons and they will want me to cast their vote for them.

Wana

Wana

Quo non Ascendam. Writer. E-mail: wana@360nobs.com

9 comments

  1. CARDINAL OKOGIE’S UTTERANCES AGAINST FR MBAKA IS A GROSS DISAPPOINTMENT : By O.I .Ngozi
    Any God fearing Christian could be disappointed that a Minister of God like Cardinal Okojie even in his retirement age could not have courtesy and orderliness in speaking in a manner that will be edifying to those who hear him. How can he use a destructive criticism on F r Mbaka his fellow Priest of God purporting that he was speaking under the influence of another spirit, and that Adoration Ministry should be closed?. Thank God that from the public opinion, Nigerians see this harsh utterance as sign of envy, acrimony and maliciousness. What if Fr Mbaka was actually used by God to warn Nigerians against impending danger ahead in this 2015 election? how will such a glorious personality like Cardinal Okojie renounce his harsh malicious utterances against Fr Mbaka?. Bishop David Eberechukwu in his speech during Southern Nigerian Christian Elders’ Forum sounded better when he assumed that Fr Mbaka’s prophecy was just a personal opinion according to him. The surprising thing is that all these years God has been using Fr Mbaka to touch souls and performing miracles for His children, none of this Cardinals or Bishops or Pastors has commended him, which means they made themselves watch dogs against Fr Mbaka, hoping on his downfall, and collapse of his Adoration Ministry, because Fr Mbaka has become more famous than any other Ministers of God in this country and beyond. Does it mean that all these ministers of God don’t see the wickedness of most of these occult Nigerian politicians, and blood shed going on in this country? We are beginning to understand why most of the Ministers of God, be it Cardinals, Bishops, Rev Fathers, Pastors etc have been initiated into secret cults knowingly or unknowingly to them, because of their greed for money, so they make themselves swanks before the evil politicians . The church is in trouble, and everyone must be on his or her knees in prayer so that God will show us mercy.
    The message Fr Mbaka gave about the wickedness and injustice perpetuated by the politicians should be unquestionable, because even the newly delivered babies cry out from the labour ward about the wickedness of our politicians which they are now coming into the world to become part of the victims. Instead of rebuking and discouraging Fr Mbaka who is John the Baptist of our time, he could be advised on the manner of presentation of messages, and should encourage everyone more on prayer .

    1. POLITICS MINUS RELIGION EQUALS TO CORRUPT POLITY: by Ohia Imelda

      Separating religion from politics is a rebellion against God. It nudges a country into a communal sin, and consequently communal curses and punishment. “ Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any nation” (Proverb 14:34). Many Pastors easily quote this bible passage to their congregation without knowing what it implies. This is why everyone is not called to preach bible and give wrong interpretations to it, just as some blind guides echoed that religion should be separated from the politics. When the occult clergy men and women want to sell our polity to their fellow occult Politicians, they will advocate that religion should be out of the politics. Every man is a political animal, so why don’t they remove God entirely from their lives and families, and face the consequence?. Why don’t they build churches in the sky, rather than on earth where we have a political environment?. Why did they register their churches with the government since religion has no relationship with politics?. Why do they honour invitations from the government in any political gatherings that would require concelebration? No reasonable person will fail to understand that Religion and Politics are two sides of the same coin. However, this is not inclusive of imposing one’s religion forcefully on others, thereby trampling down one’s fundamental human right. Nigeria is a multi-religious nation, and each religion is free to be heard, but not to be imposed on others.

      There is no realistic religious practice in Nigeria, that is why corruption has eaten deep into the fabrics of our polity, and worse still, corruption emanating from some of the Ministers of God nowadays. They have merchandised their prophetic mission because of the fleeting pleasures of this world. They closed their eyes from the corruptions going on the country, and sealed their mouths from condemning evil practices of the wicked Politicians. They are afraid of suffering persecutions. It is a clear indication that the Spirit of God is not at work in most of these clergy men and women, “ for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and love and self discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). Heaven is not meant for Cowards, but for Radicals. “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of God has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12).

      God said to Prophet Ezekiel, “if I say to the wicked, “ you shall surely die”, and you give them no warning, or speak to warn the wicked from their wicked way, in order to save their life, those wicked persons shall die for their iniquity, but their blood I will require at your hand” (Ezekiel 3:18). John the Baptist fearlessly condemned King Herod for coveting his brother’s wife Herodias (Matthew14:1-4), Prophet Nathan condemned King David for committing adultery with Bethsheba Uriah’s wife and killing of Uriah (2 Samuel 12:1-12), Prophet Gad condemned David for taking census of Israel, and asked David to choose one out of the three punishments God will send to him (2 Samuel 24:10-17), King of Assyria Sennachrib reviled the God of Israel, and Prophet Isaiah sent message about the death of King Sennacharib (Isaiah 37:5-7), Samuel used his prophetic power to condemned unlawful sacrifice made by king Saul, and said that his kingship will be taken away from him (1 Samuel 13:1-14, and 1 Samuel 15:10-23), Prophet Daniel fearlessly interpreted the writing on the wall to King Belshazzar that God has brought his kingdom to an end (Daniel 5:13-28), Prophet Jonah was sent to prophesy against the wickedness of the people of Ninevah and their impending destruction (Jonah 3:1-5). There are so many biblical references about the genuine Prophets using their prophet powers to condemn evils in the society.

      Ministers of God are mortals with their own human frailties. So we should continue to pray for them to sit up, and make good use of their prophetic calls in pleasing and glorifying God. God said through Prophet Malachi, “And now, O Priests, this command is for you. If you will not listen, if you will not lay it to heart to give glory to my Name says the Lord of hosts, then I will send the curse on you and I will curse your blessings, indeed I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. I will rebuke your offerings, and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings, and I will put you out of my presence” (Malachi 2:1-3).
      May God bless, protect, sanctify all his Ministers and have mercy on us all, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen!.

  2. Cardinal Okogie , I respect you but I am worried and concerned that you let press men push you into condemning your religion by criticizing the spririt that led Father Mbaka to say what he said. You have no right to question the Holy Spirit. Father Mbaka has every right to say what he was led to say by the Holy Spirit and nobody can stop the work of the holy spirit.

  3. It is rather unfortunate that miracle chasers and people who know next to nothing about spirituality and Catholic spirituality can now open their mouths and say a lot of rubbish against the Lord’s anointed. people like O. I. Ngozi etc. All courtesy of unguarded utterances coming out from the stable of Fr. Mbaka.
    You see why private ministries are not always encouraged in the Catholic Church?
    How can you praise President Jonathan today and condemn him few weeks later. Which of the Spirits is at work in each of the instances is the question.

    1. Peter A , or what ever you called yourself. I know you don’t believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, so you can never believe that God does miracles through those he bestowed with these gifts, that is why you are calling the believers miracle chasers. In Acts of the Apostles, God confirms his words through the miracles the Apostles performed in his name.. It is quite understandable that you are envious of Fr Mbaka. I advise you to give up your undue chase of wine, women and wealth , and chase miracles of God, so that you will one day have the same gifts of the Holy Spirit Fr Mbaka has.

  4. i dreamt,in that dream i was told that the greatest mistake nigerians will do is to vote for buhari because every body

  5. No one can question the holy spirit, how can a priest talk through the anointing of the holy spirit snd some fools go against it. It’s not fair, at least if you don’t know what to say keep quiet.

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