Outspoken Catholic priest, Ejike Mbaka, has apologised to the Catholic Church over the attack and destruction of the Enugu Catholic Diocese Bishop’s Court and the Holy Ghost Cathedral in Enugu.
Mr Mbaka, who is the spiritual director of Adoration Ministries, Enugu, apologised while delivering a sermon on Sunday at the Adoration Ground in Emene.
He said the church did not kidnap him and apologised to people who may have misunderstood his statement when he resurfaced in Enugu.
He said he was misquoted by people who wanted to cause problems between him and the church.
The priest said the protest was hijacked by hoodlums who unleashed mayhem on the church.
“I wish to apologise to whoever misunderstood my statement at New Haven. I didn’t clap for anybody for destroying anything.
“I am here standing on your behalf and I render my sincere apologies to the Holy Roman and Apostolic Church where I belong and say may the mother church forgive us in any way we didn’t do it well even in all that I said, where I didn’t say it well, we pray for their forgiveness.
“I am on your behalf, kneeling down for the church and I say may the church forgive. What has happened has happened, we are to save the image of the church and the face of the church and the souls of the son of God.
“People started going in and breaking things… Igbos, Hausas and Yorubas, Catholics and non- Catholics.
“The church is not my property. I belong to the church so I am asking my Lord, Bishop Onaga and all the priests of Enugu diocese and for everybody to rest the case.”
He said he will join the prayer of reparation called by the bishop as he did not send anybody to destroy the bishop’s residence.
“The prayer of reparation, we will join, I didn’t send anybody to destroy anything, I have no problem with anybody and I can’t disobey the church —who am I? How can somebody who has been serving the church for 25 years come out to begin to fight the same church.”
Mr Mbaka condemned the destruction of properties at the bishop’s court, although he said he was not aware of what was destroyed.
He explained why he had praised the crowd despite the destruction at the bishop’s residence.
“What I was praising you for was not for anything destroyed. I was praising you for your ability to search for your missing pastor,” he said.
He enjoined them to look for any priest that goes missing in Nigeria because “we are sharing in one priesthood of Christ Jesus”.
“I thank God nobody died. One person was said to have poured himself fuel and started pouring it round the Bishop’s Court and wanted to light himself up with the house, is that not another type of suicide bomber?
“But the Adoration people beat the hell out of him. And some others wanted to destroy the sanctissimum sacramentum (Holy Sacrament) and the grotto but the Adoration members blocked them and started praying.”
The parishioners, he said, “will agree on a day to go in their large number to the bishop and apologise to him”.
Following the exchange of words between Mr Mbaka and Nigeria’s presidency because of his call for President Muhammadu Buhari’s resignation, the priest was summoned last week by the bishop of the diocese. Some hours later, information went viral on social media that the priest was missing.
His parishioners, thereafter, embarked on a protest to the bishop’s residence where they allegedly destroyed properties within the premises.
They reportedly destroyed properties at the Holy Ghost Cathedral before Mr Mbaka later resurfaced and took them away to New Haven where he addressed them.
Mr Mbaka had told the parishioners he was denied access to his phones and ordered to proceed on one month suspension.
He also alleged that the diocesan leadership wanted to close down the Adoration ministry.
Following the attack, the Bishop, Callistus Onaga declared a one week prayer for reparation over the incident.
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