… Reasons it could be deliberate ploy to hinder his appeal
THE Tanzania-based Roman Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Ekene Nwosu whose letter of suspension from priesthood went viral on the internet recently has once again cried out to Pope Francis to intervene in his ordeal; compel local authorities in Nigeria to hand him the purported letter and give him benefit of fair hearing.
Fr. Nwosu, who was chanced by National Light recently demanded for justice as knowledge of his suspension came to him through a friend’s call referring him to the message going viral on the internet about his suspension.
He noted that all his efforts to get any explanation to that effect from the Awka Diocesan authority have not yielded any positive result.
According to the Owerre Ezukala, Orumba South born clergy, his alleged suspension was based on grounds of cheating and questionable formation to priesthood by the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Dr Paulinus Ezeokafor, which he has made all attempts humanly possible to get explanations for, to no avail.
“I have done several things and have made some contacts regarding the letter that went viral in the internet about three weeks ago. I contacted the administrator of the Diocese of Morogoro, who told me that he has contacted the Papal Nuncio to Tanzania, but the Tanzanian Nuncio stated that the letter has been delivered to the Papal Nuncio in Abuja. The Nuncio in Tanzania said that the Nuncio in Abuja had given the letter to the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, my Lord Bishop Paulinus Ezeokafor to deliver to me but as I speak, I don’t have a copy of the letter and I need it so that I can do the needful”.
“They know that in withholding the letter, I cannot go further to do the necessary things. Therefore, I am appealing to the papal Nuncio to use his good office to appeal to the bishop of Awka to give me a copy of the letter. Anybody who is withholding the letter is deliberately denying me opportunity to appeal for the injustice”.
Rev Fr Nwosu, who disclosed that he was at a loss why the letter is yet to be handed to him, noted that he is only concerned with his human rights which he felt has been violated, adding that the struggle is not just about him but also the reputation of the Catholic Church.
“Like I always say and I mean it, this is not just about Rev Fr. Ekene Nwosu as an individual but this is about the reputation of the Roman Catholic Church, the Apostolic Church, the Church of St. Peter, the Church, headed by Pope Francis. It is not about me, but evil prevail when good men sit and do nothing. The worst thing that can happen to us is to give young seminarians who want to serve God the impression that any man can wake up and deny them their call based on unfounded and biased claims and accusations.”
He emphasised that he could walk out of the priesthood and easily get another job, but will rather not opt for such given that he was sure of his calling. He also stated boldly that his battle is not with the church.
“I have to state it clearly that I’m not engaging in any battle with the church. I love the Catholic Church so much. I respect the Pope, the bishops and her traditions and I love my fellow priests. I cherish the priesthood and I am not in any battle with my Lord Bishop, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor.
I am just making a point of being treated unfairly and not given a chance to defend myself against false accusations and not being accorded due process as stipulated in the Canonical Law. As I carry my cross, I pray for those who are persecuting me for no just cause that they spend a bit of that energy in winning souls for Christ and I believe that our Lord Jesus Christ and our mother Mary, will direct them to do their work for the salvation of souls. They should remember that the last point in Canon Law says that every law gears towards the salvation of souls”, he said.
National Light’s efforts to reach officials of the diocese on phone to get their side of the story as at press time was not successful as the Diocesan Chancellor, Very Rev Fr Chidume did not pick his calls.