Catholic Archbishop of Kaduna, Most Rev. Matthew Manâ€™Oso Ndagoso, has shutÂ down the St. Dominicâ€™s Parish of the Diocese over what he described as the unchristianlyÂ behaviours of some of the worshippers.
Ndagoso said that it was scandalous for some members of the church to lock out their parish priest and acting Vicar General of the Diocese, Monsignor Gabriel Enuagha [aka Father Thank-God] from both St.Dominicâ€™s Parish church and his official residence following alleged misunderstandings over fixture of other of mass on Sundays.
There was confusion in the parish on October 11,this year when Monsignor Enuagha introduced a new order of celebrating mass which ensured that English language session should hold by 6 am and 8 am while the Hausa language session holds by 10 am every Sunday instead of the previous situation whereby English language session held by 6 am and 10 am while the Hausa language session held by 8 am.
However, some worshippers who protested against the new order locked up the church, forcing the Priest to conduct the church service under the tree within the premises and using his car as altar.
Saturday Vanguard had reported the matter but one Mr. Matthew Eluchie of the office of the Social Communication in the Diocese while refuting the story said that the reporter based his story purely on speculation and gossip describing the practice as â€œyellow or armchair journalism.â€
But the Bishop who had travelled out of the country when the incident happened, along with his assistant, Monsignor Matthew Hassan Kukah, returned to Kaduna and merged St. Dominicâ€™s Parish, Ungwar Pama, with St. Maryâ€™s Parish, at Ungwar Boro, and promised that the perpetrators will face Canon Laws of the church.
In his letter indicting members of St. Dominicâ€™s Church which was read simultaneously in all the parishes in the Diocese and dated October 30, 2009, Ndagoso stated, â€œGrace and peace to you from God our father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
â€œ You may have heard of the unfortunate and scandalous event that took place in St. Dominicâ€™s Parish, Ungwar Pama , on October 11, 2009, when some members of the Parish community without regard to lawfully constituted authorities took the laws into their hands and locked up the Parish ChurchÂ Â and the parish house, thus hindering the community from worshipping in the church and the priests having to seek refuge elsewhere.
â€œAs if that was not enough, the perpetrators went further to use what is tantamount to force on their Parish Priest.
â€œWhatever their grievances, there are avenues and structures within the church for settling them without resorting to the use of force and violence.
â€œThe action was not only unchristian but also condemnable and intolerable anywhere especially in the church as the family of God.
â€œThose responsible cannot be said to be true Christians because their action runs contrary to the Christian spirit of dialogue, reconciliation and peace.
â€œThey should have known that such behaviours have no place in the one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
â€œTo say the least, what happened in St. Dominicâ€™s is adisrespect of the highest degree to me and my office.
â€œMonsignor Gabriel V. Enuagha is my Vicar-General under whose care I left the Archdiocese while away. He was at that time the Archbishop of Kaduna.
â€œThe assault on him therefore was a direct assault on me and my office. Consequently, after due consideration, I have decided to take the following measures: St. Dominicâ€™s ceases to be a Parish until further notice. It is now an out station of St. Maryâ€™s, Ungwar Boro with one combined Mass every Sunday. The Parish Priest is to fix the time for the Mass.
â€œThe Parish laity Council is hereby dissolved. The Parish Priest of St. Maryâ€™s Ungwar Boro is to form a caretaker church committee to run the affairs of the church. Consequently, anyone in possession of church property should hand them over to the Dean of Rimau Deanery, Very Reverend Father Alfred Mako.
â€œAnyone found to be involved in the crisis in any way will be sanctioned appropriately in accordance with the provisions of the law (CF. Cans.1374 and 1375).Â A thorough investigation is in progress. You will be duly informed of the outcome.
â€œFinally, let it be known to one and all that no individual or group is indispensable in the Catholic Church. While the Church is better off with all on board, it cannot cease to exist because of an individual or a group. The rich history of our church is there for those who care to confirm.â€ ENDS.