The sovereign headship of the Catholic Church in Nigeria on Monday, February 1, cleared the air that the controversial priest and founder of the Enugu Adoration Ministry, Rev Fr. Ejike Mbaka was simply transferred to a place where he would be more useful to the church.
Speaking to Premium Times, the Secretary-General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Reverend Father Ralph Madu averred that the transfer of priests within the Catholic Church is a “normal church procedure,” adding that Rev Mbaka’s transfer was not meant to be punitive.
“Mbaka’s own is not an exception,” Mr. Madu said. “The Bishop has the right to post any priest wherever he feels his service would be more useful to the church.”
“His posting should have been a privilege, not a punishment – which the Bishop can do because he has the power.
“If he (Mbaka) says it’s a punishment, then it’s open for further investigation. Posting is a regular thing, a priest can be transferred after two, three, four, or more years, it depends on the discretion of the Bishop.
“That ministry (Adoration Ministry) is his private ministry, it does not belong to the church.
Overseeing a parish is a full time job. Overseeing a ministry is a bigger task. If the church decides to take him somewhere where he’ll have more time to carry out his ministry, how is it punitive? That should not be the language.”
The posting of Fr. Mbaka from the Christ the King Parish (CKP), GRA, Enugu, where he had served for over a decade and had established a popular prayer ministry, the Adoration Prayer Ministry, to Our Lady Parish, at Emene has been greeted with monumental criticisms.
According to Mr. Madu, Mr. Mbaka had done things that were unacceptable to the church in the past but received no punishments for them.
“He is supposed to be a missionary,” Mr. Madu said. “What if the Bishop had closed down the ministry, which is within his power to do? Sometimes, transfers can be for the good of the priest as something can be going wrong which he might not be aware of. The Bishop is free to move any priest at any time, it is his prerogative.”
The fiery and controversial priest has lamented his re-posting by the church as a “calculated move” to make him suffer.
“I know we are going to suffer within now and few months to come,” the priest said. I am going to suffer and suffer; I know that. I’m going to suffer because I have no place to put my head. I am going to suffer because I have no place to keep the Adoration Ministry’s assets. I know I’m going to suffer.”