The Catholic Church has washed its hands off the ongoing controversy over the strong criticism of President Goodluck Jonathan by Rev Father Ejike Mbaka of Adoration Ministries in Enugu, accusing him of double-speaking.
The church said it did not authorise Mbaka to speak on its behalf, insisting that it is wrong for Mbaka to endorse the president and later warn the electorate not to vote for him during the February 14 presidential poll.
The church added that it did not have an official position on whose candidate the Catholic faithful should vote for, saying that as the largest Christian group, it is illogical for it to direct members to vote for certain candidates as the voters have the prerogative to exercise their inalienable rights in such a situation.
A catholic faithful, Mr Callistus Ebue, disclosed this during an interview with LEADERSHIP last night in Enugu.
He said, “The Catholic Church did not authorise Rev Father Mbaka to speak on its behalf. There is no way the church, with millions of its members, make a pronouncement on who to vote for during the February 14 presidential election. The church does not have an official position in this regard. The decision to vote for any candidate is the prerogative right of the church faithful just like any other Nigerian.”
While some of the Catholics in Enugu argue that Mbaka might have been led by the Holy Spirit in his pronouncement over Jonathan’s re-election bid, others said that the cleric ought not to have dabbled into the murky waters of politics.
According to a Catholic knight, Sir Abuchi Anueghiagu, Mbaka was initially inspired by the Holy Spirit to endorse the re-election of Jonathan, saying, however, that whatever Mbaka pronounced during his homily at the Adoration Ministries ground on December 31, 2014, was also a function of the leading of the Holy Spirit.
According to him, as an ordained priest in charge of a parish, Christ the King Parish, and the spiritual director of Adoration Ministries, nobody is qualified to challenge any sermon he delivers from the altar.
But another knight of the Catholic Church who spoke to LEADERSHIP on condition of anonymity condemned Mbaka of speaking from both sides of his mouth.
He said that having previously blessed Jonathan on his re-election bid, he ought not to have made a volte-face. He advised priests to be cautions of their pronouncements from the altar, as whatever they say has a way of affecting their followers either negatively or positively.
The Catholic bishop of Enugu Diocese, Rev Dr Calistus Onaga, could not be reached at the time of filing this report last night.
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