The Catholic Church have come out to clarify issues surrounding the controversial transfer of Revd. Fr. Ejike Mbaka out of Christ the King Parish, GRA, Enugu where he had served for over a decade and had established a popular Adoration Prayer Ministry to Our Lady Parish, Emene.
The Secretary-General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Reverend Father Ralph Madu, speaking on Monday in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES said Fr. Mbaka was only being sent where he would be more useful to the church.
“Transfer of priests within the Catholic church is a normal church procedure. Mbaka’s own is not an exception. The Bishop has the right to post any priest wherever he feels his service would be more useful to the church,” he said.
Whereas Revd. Fr. Mbaka sees his recent transfer by the Catholic Church as a plan to make him suffer:
“I know we are going to suffer within now and few months to come. I am going to suffer and suffer; I know that. I’m going to suffer because I have no place to put my head. I am going to suffer because I have no place to keep the Adoration Ministry’s assets. I know I’m going to suffer.”
However, Revd. Madu dismissed the claims made by Mbaka that his transfer was a plan to make him suffer:
“Such frivolities have nothing to do with the posting. His posting should have been a privilege, not a punishment. If he (Mbaka) says it’s a punishment, then it’s open for further investigation. Posting is a regular thing, a priest can be transferred after two, three, four, or more years, it depends on the discretion of the Bishop.”
He also had this to say concerning Mbaka’s Adoration Ministry:
“That ministry (Adoration Ministry) is his private ministry, it does not belong to the church. Overseeing a parish is a full time job. Overseeing a ministry is a bigger task. If the church decides to take him somewhere where he’ll have more time to carry out his ministry, how is it punitive? That should not be the language.
He is supposed to be a missionary, what if the Bishop had closed down the ministry, which is within his power to do? Sometimes, transfers can be for the good of the priest as something can be going wrong which he might not be aware of. The Bishop is free to move any priest at any time, it is his prerogative.”