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Trouble in Nnewi Catholic Diocese, Bishop,
Holy Ghost priests differ

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TENSION is mounting among Catholic faithful in Nnewi Diocese following a face off between Bishop Jonas Benson Okoye and five Holy Ghost priests from St Martin of Tours, Ihiala, in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State.

  A source told National Light that the showdown started after Bishop Okoye created a new parish, recently.

  Explaining that first trouble began when Bishop Okoye directed one of the five priests to vacate his residence in order to give way for administrative convenience, the source said the order did not go down well with the priest, who in no time, reported his ‘ordeal’ to his colleagues who encouraged him to stay put.

  According to the source, the line of action angered the bishop who saw both the priest’s refusal to pack out and his colleagues’ ‘solidarity’ as an affront to his authority and, for this, Okoye ordered the six priests to step aside.

  Bishop Okoye followed the suspension order by withdrawing the priests’ authorities to perform church rituals known as Canonical Faculty in Catholic doctrine.

  And, then, the deadlock or stalemate between Bishop Okoye and the five priests followed.

  The source also said that more priests did not only fault the bishop’s reprimands but were also enlisting support for their five colleagues fearing that if such order is allowed to stand, they may end up being reduced to ‘tenants’ living at the bishop’s pleasure and mercy.

  Confirming the showdown, a priest in Nnewi Catholic Diocesan Directorate of Communications said only their director, Rev Fr. Hyginus Aghaulor has authority to make further comments.

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