April 3, 2022

Row over Nigerian movie, as Pope kicks

Pope set to decide on special exception to priestly celibacy rule

Pope Francis

By Benjamin Njoku

Ugochukwu Favour- Mayor, producer of   the controversial Nollywood movie on YouTube, The Priest’s War, otherwise known as ‘The Cathedral’, which caught the attention of the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has revealed why he made the movie, saying “it’s a true life story that needs to be documented.”

In a chat with Sunday Vanguard, Favour-Mayor said   the incident happened in Ahiara, Mbaise in Imo State where he hails, and as a son of the soil, he owes it as a duty to document the story for prosperity.

“This is a true life story. But as a creative individual, I had to add a twist to it for viewers to watch and enjoy”, he said.

‘Certain events are not specific as to exactly how it happened. But I managed to use the theme to create something that viewers would see and appreciate.

“Already, you know about the Ahiara diocesan crisis that has lingered for years now.

“As a son of the soil who hails from there, when I heard about the crisis, I said to myself that this would be nice if the story can be documented and sent out there.

“I didn’t expect that it would make waves this much. Every day, I wake up to news of how people are referring to it.

“A lot of people feel that it exposes the politics in the church so much, while some others feel that the movie is coming to put an end to certain issues affecting the church.

“Whichever way, it feels good to have something that repairs societal ills”.

Favour-Mayor said making the movie took a toll on him.

“Despite that, I’m grateful that it came out well.” 

Pope Francis recently reacted to the movie after it   was released online which also made movie buffs to tag the storyline as relational with that of Ahiara’s episcopal crisis.

In a tweet, Pope Francis wrote: “The world needs more light, not the kind of action displayed in the Nigerian movie, #ThePriestsWar.

“Only in love, in communion and in fraternity can we shine God’s light. The content of that movie shines the light of our true character that calls for a readdress and change.”

Sunday Vanguard recalls that activities in the Ahiara Diocese, including Priestly/Diaconate Ordinations, and other Catholic rituals, were stagnant following the death of Bishop Victor Adibe Chikwe in 2010.

Since then, there was unrest and holy war which erupted with the posting of Bishop Okpaleke as the Cathedral administrator, who was rejected by the majority of Mbaise nation, hence his resignation and appointment of Bishop Ugorji by the Papacy.

Meanwhile, Sunday Vanguard gathered that the Catholic community in Nigeria has called on YouTube to pull down the controversial movie.