A Catholic priest has described the rejection of a Catholic bishop appointed by Pope Francis by members of a diocese in Imo, south-eastern Nigeria as a disgrace, reports The BBC
Father Philip Jamang, of the Church of Assumption in Jos central Nigeria, is reported to have told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that it was extremely wrong for some local priests in Ahiara Diocese to support church members opposed to Bishop Peter Okpalaeke whom the Pope Francis appointed.
“Their action is strange; it is an insult never heard of in the Catholic Church,” Fr Jamang is reported to have said.
The papers report that Ahiara Catholic Diocese has been without a bishop since the last bishop died.
Bishop Okpalaeke was then appointed in 2012, however some priests and some members of the laity were opposed to him because of where he came from – the Guardian just says there were “clannish differences”.
Two months ago Pope Francis gave the Ahiara Diocese 30 days within which to accept the Bishop. He also told them to apologise for their behaviour or face “sanctions”.
The ultimatum expired in July without the Pope’s directive being obeyed.