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Mbaka could be barred from ministering – Archbishop Martins

Valentine Chinyem

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The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Adewale Martins, has said the Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, could be banned from preaching if he continues to deviate from the teaching and tenets of the Catholic Church.

Martins said this during an interview with BBC Igbo, following Mbaka’s prophecy that Sen. Hope Uzodinma would emerge as governor of Imo State.

Mbaka had on the 31st of January, 2018 prophesied that Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) would emerge as governor in 2020, a prophecy which came to pass on Tuesday when the Supreme Court sacked Emeka Ihedioha of the People Democratic Party (PDP) and named Uzodinma as the duly elected governor.

However, while reacting to the prophecy which has so far caused chaos on the public space, the archbishop said Mbaka is under the Diocese of Enugu and therefore does not report to him.

He noted that, if Mbaka continues in the manner with which he is doing things, the Catholic Church may bar him from ministering.

Responding to a question, Martins said, “Fr Mbaka falls under the authority of the Bishop of Enugu Diocese and therefore he has the responsibility of cautioning him. I can imagine that this must be giving the bishop some challenges.

“It must be giving him a bit of a headache and I feel sorry for him and I hope he will find some way of dealing with this matter that has been recurring. Of course, what could be done in the end is either to say ok you receive the sanction of being stopped from public ministry. That is a possibility. If it is not done, there must be a reason.”

He said the Catholic Church does not engage in partisan politics, adding that, Mbaka ought to have communicated his prophecy in such a way that it corresponds with scriptures and the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

“It is utterly surprising that Fr Mbaka would go as far as naming one person as governor against another. It is embarrassing when you hear of priests or people in position of authority making statements that are clearly partisan as far as politics is concerned,” he said.

“The position of the Catholic Church on matters that have to do with politics is not to be partisan in statements that are made. Of course, we as a church cannot be oblivious to political events and happenings in the country or the world at large and therefore we must speak from the point of view of principles.

“The priest who believes he has a gift of prophecy has to test whatever has been told to him in the light of the scriptures, in the light of the teachings of the church and in terms of the authority that has been given to leaders in the church.”

“Therefore, this kind of prophecy or vision that Fr Mbaka is talking about is certainly not the kind that we expect of priests in the Catholic Church,” he said.