The Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, has called on the Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry, and a Catholic Priest in Enugu State, Rev. Father Ejike Mbaka, to stay away from politics.
He said this on Friday in Abuja at an interactive meeting with journalists as part of activities marking this year’s World Communications Day celebration.
Archbishop Kaigama said that during Priestly ordination, Catholic Priests take an oath to be obedient and respect their Bishop and his successors.
“Father Mbaka is a catholic priest under a catholic Bishop, he was ordained a catholic priest and he took an oath during ordination ‘I promise obedience and respect to you my local ordinary and your successors’.
“This was the oath he took in front of everyone, which means that the oath is valid till you die,” he explained.
According to Kaigama, the Catholic Canon Law 285 forbids Catholic Priests from partisan politics, adding that despite being free to discuss politics, they are not to participate.
He said, “If he is a catholic priest, he must go by what the Catholic church teaches and stands for.
“Father Mbaka is a priest and he should realize that catholic priest is forbidden by Canon Law 285 which prohibits any clergy from engaging in anything that is foreign and unbecoming to the Catholic Clerical state.
“That means we are prohibited from embarking on anything that is alien, strange, foreign to our clerical status and what the Catholic church teaches us, as clergy, we are not allowed to dabble into politics.
“It doesn’t mean we can’t be prophetic in condemning criminality and corruption, we can do that, that is a prophetic mission.
“Partisan politics is not part of our calling. If a clergy embarks on such unbecoming and foreign conduct, the church has a solution and the church knows what to do.”
‘No to military takeover’
Also, the clergy rejected the recent coup scare in the country.
“That people are even hinting about military take over maybe is a symptom that something is not right, but I thought it is a vocabulary that would never be mentioned again in the history of Nigeria.
“But if it is being discussed, whether real or imaginary, then it means we need to be attentive, especially those in leadership.
“I am not involved in that and I don’t want to be involved in that. All I want to be involved in is the process of making sure our people live happily in unity and in peace, that our people get the basic necessity of life to be able to live well,” Kaigama said.