Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria finally responds to Fr Mbaka's transfer saga

Following the controversy which has trailed the recent transfer of Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, the Catholic Church in Nigeria has issued a statement clarifying that it had nothing to do with a witch-hunt or hitting him for supporting a Muslim candidate during the last general elections. The church said the priest was merely sent to where he would be more useful to the church.
“Such frivolities have nothing to do with the posting. His posting should have been a privilege, not a punishment – which the Bishop can do because he has the power. Mbaka’s own is not an exception. The Bishop has the right to post any priest wherever he feels his service would be more useful to the church,” said the Secretary-General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria Rev Fr Ralph Madu, in the church’s first official statement over the matter.
Madu said the transfer of Mbaka who had served in Christ the King Parish for over a decade, was ”’normal church procedure”.
Fr. Mbaka had earlier described his transfer as a plot to make him suffer. “I know I will suffer within now and a few months to come; 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,” he said.
However, the Catholic church secretariat said, if “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, on the Bishop’s discretion.
“That ministry is his private ministry; it does not belong to the church. Overseeing a parish is a full time job and 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.”
Fr. Madu hinted that Fr. 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, 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.”
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