Mbaka could be barred from preaching – Lagos Archbishop
The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Adewale Martins, says the Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, could be banned from preaching if he continues to deviate from the doctrine and tenets of the Catholic Church. Martins who was appointed Archbishop of Lagos by the Pope in 2012, said this during an interview with BBC Igbo while reacting to Mbaka’s prophecy that Hope Uzodinma would emerge as governor of Imo State. Mbaka had on New Year’s Eve prophesied that Uzodinma would emerge as governor in 2020, a prophecy which came to pass on Tuesday when the Supreme Court sacked Emeka Ihedioha and named Uzodinma as the duly elected governor. Reacting to the prophecy which has stirred a heated debate, the archbishop said Mbaka is under the Diocese of Enugu and therefore does not report to him. He, however, said if Mbaka continues in the manner with which he is doing things, the Catholic Church may bar him from ministering. Responding to a question, Martins said, “Fr Mbaka falls under the authority of the Bishop of Enugu Diocese and therefore he has the responsibility of cautioning him. I can imagine that this must be giving the bishop some challenges. “It must be giving him a bit of a headache and I feel sorry for him and I hope he will find some way of dealing with this matter that has been recurring. Of course, what could be done in the end is either to say ok you receive the sanction of being stopped from public ministry. That is a possibility. If it is not done, there must be a reason.” Martins who was ordained a priest in 1983, said the Catholic Church does not engage in partisan politics. He said even if Mbaka received a prophecy from God, he ought to ensure that his conduct corresponds with the scriptures and the doctrine of the Catholic Church. The archbishop added, “It is utterly surprising that Fr Mbaka would go as far as naming one person as governor against another. It is embarrassing when you hear of priests or people in position of authority making statements that are clearly partisan as far as politics is concerned. “The position of the Catholic Church on matters that have to do with politics is not to be partisan in statements that are made. Of course, we as a church cannot be oblivious to political events and happenings in the country or the world at large and therefore we must speak from the point of view of principles. “The priest who believes he has a gift of prophecy has to test whatever has been told to him in the light of the scriptures, in the light of the teachings of the church and in terms of the authority that has been given to leaders in the church.” Martins said Mbaka’s behaviour was at variance with the teachings of the Catholic Church and he had fallen below the standard expected of priests. “Therefore, this kind of prophecy or vision that Fr Mbaka is talking about is certainly not the kind that we expect of priests in the Catholic Church,” he said.