The Director of Communications of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu, Rev. Fr. Benjamin Achi has said that it is wrong for a priest to make political statements from the pulpit.
This is coming on the heels of a declaration made by the founder of Adoration Ministry in Enugu state, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka.
Mbaka, during a service on Sunday, December 2, 2018, declared that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar will fail in 2019.
The priest made the declaration following the refusal of the PDP Vice-Presidential candidate, Peter Obi to publicly announce a donation to his ministry.
His words: “God hates stinginess. I am not telling you this, to make you happy. This is what will save your life. Otherwise, you and Atiku will fail.
“If there is a place they will coat words for you, it is not at Mbaka’s altar. You can save your political destiny. Or in 2019, you people will not even know how they did the election. What will make my brother to come for bazaar and he won’t even break kola?
“The way you and Atiku are moving will end in shame.
“Let us continue our bazaar. You know since he is not supporting us, the ministry has been moving. If people start arguing like this, their downfall begins.”
Speaking to Punch, Director of Communications of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu said “The diocese is not in support of any priest making political statements.
“The church is supposed to be apolitical and the Bishops’ conference has said that repeatedly.
“We are not supposed to make any political statements from the pulpit within the context of Mass, that is, church service.
“So, it would be wrong to stand at the pulpit to make any political statements.
“There is a document issued by the Bishops’ conference to that effect.
“So, he just spoke on his own, not representing the diocese.
“We are not expected to come out openly to support a particular candidate for any reason. The church law does not accept such a thing. So, it would be wrong for anybody (priest) to come out and give an endorsement to a particular candidate.”
Peter Obi has however issued a statement calling on Nigerians not to condemn Mbaka, but to pray that God will lead him right.