By Chinedu Adonu
The Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Nigeria, Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka on Sunday apologized to the Catholic church and Bishop Callistus Onaga over the vandalization of Bishop’s court by adoration faithful.
Fr Mbaka who made this apology at the Adoration ground while officiating Sunday mass, said “I do not disobey the church, who am I? How can someone who has been serving the church for nearly 26 years come out and begin to fight the same church? Everything in my life is for the church”.
Recall that members of Adoration ministry on Wednesday last week stormed Bishop’s court at Igbo-Eze street demanding the whereabout of Fr Mbaka who was feared to have been abducted.
The protesters who waited for Bishop Onaga to come out and address them, accused him of knowing what happened to Mbaka, and destroyed properties.
According to Mbaka, “I, Fr Mbaka standing here, I am a child of the holy mother church, and all the faithful are also children of the same mother church.
“I am a baby of the church and an ordained holy Roman Catholic that is apostolic, universal. I stand here to tell you that nothing can destroy the church. I speak as a messenger of God and a mere servant.
He however, reaffirmed his loyalty to the church and Bishop. “Please, I have to clarify this, Fr Mbaka has no problem with the Church and I do not have any problem with my bishop. Enemies want to achieve that by causing discord, but I will not allow it because, there is something in me that will conquer such problems.
“That thing is the gift of humility and obedience to the church, to the glory of God. I do not want to tell negative stories about what happened because the incident now belongs to the past.
“When the protest continued to gather more momentum that day, I was asked by my bishop to come and take away the protesters to avoid the situation getting out of hand.
“You know the issue attracted media hype; Fr Mbaka is missing, Mbaka has been kidnapped and all that. But I was never kidnapped. I was at a place that my bishop asked me to proceed for personal prayer.
“I almost had a terrible accident when I was hurrying to the Bishop’s Court after I was asked to come and calm the restive crowd of protesters.
“I asked the bishop (on phone), shall I move to the Adoration ground? He said yes. And I asked what about the Sunday Mass, he said tell them you will celebrate it with them. I answered, yes my Lord and proceeded.
“As we were moving through New Haven, I got another call that I should rush to Holy Ghost cathedral, that another mammoth crowd had entered the cathedral premises and threatening to wreck havoc there if I did not appear to address them in person.
“I never knew that any damage was caused in Bishop’s house. “When I got to the OSISATEC (Poly) Roundabout, I saw a thick crowd. I then came out and waved at them. Immediately they saw me, they started following me back.
“I didn’t enter the cathedral. I never knew that even a glass was broken. “What I was praising those that trooped out that day was not about anything that was destroyed but for their ability to search for your missing pastor.
“And I beg you, whenever any priest goes missing, please, look for him. If any of our priests is kidnapped, you should not rest! Whether it happened in Onitsha, Aba, Nnewi, even in Maiduguri or Yorubaland, search for him. This is because we share one priesthood of Christ Jesus.
“If I hear that my bishop is missing, for instance, I will do everything possible, by the grace of God to find him. “I am taking my time to explain things because there were a lot of misinformation and the devil entered into the story.
“The church did not kidnap me. “So, I wish to apologize to whoever that misunderstood my statement. I didn’t clap for anybody for destroying anything.
“Again, I praise you people (supporters) for protecting the Sanctissimus; the Blessed Sacrament was not tampered with. And God will bless you because I heard that the ‘Search for Fr Mbaka’ was high jacked.
“I heard that some people joined up and started breaking things, and that virtually people of all tribes, Christians and non-Christians as well as Catholics and non-Catholics joined in the search.