Crisis rocks Benin Catholic Arch Diocese

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By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—CRISIS is brewing in the Catholic Arch Diocese of Benin City, over the appointment of a substantive Bishop for the Diocese.

It was learnt that the Apostolic Administrator of the diocese, Bishop Anthony Gbuji, had last week, presented the names of the Bishop of Iseluku Diocese, Bishop Elue and that of Esan Diocese to the priests in the diocese for consideration.

But the Benin Laity in the Diocese, petitioned the Pope’s representative in Abuja, complaining that the two Bishops are not Binis, warning that there could be trouble in the Diocese if a Bini man was not made the next Arch-Bishop of the Benin Diocese.

Bishop Elue is from Delta state while Bishop Akubueze is from the South East. Vanguard learnt that the Apostolic Administrator, Bishop Gbuji, who was appointed by the Vatican to over see the affairs of the Diocese until a substantive Arch Bishop was appointed in the Diocese, had met with 12 Priests Tuesday, where he presented the names of the two Bishops for their consideration.

A member of the Laity, who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity, said that “what they are doing is wrong by only short listing two Bishops, who are not Bini for the position when we have several Bini priests, who are qualified to take that position. It is very unfair that as big as this Diocese is, we are yet to have a Bini Bishop.”

That is why we have made our point clear to the Vatican because it will be difficult for us to work with any Bishop from outside again. We have endured for so long so we are appealing that justice should be done in this matter” the source stated.

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