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Archbishop Opukiri knocks clergy, laity over Bishop Okpalaeke’s resignation



Archbishop Gabriel Chukwudi Odili Opukiri of the Saint Peter’s Deliverance Church, Okpoko, Ogbaru Local Council, Anambra State, has decried those who refused Bishop Peter Okpalaeke access to the Ahiara Diocese to perform his duty.

This is coming as reactions continue to trail the resignation of Okpalaeke as Catholic Bishop of Ahiara Diocese in Mbaise, Imo State.

His words: “Those who did that do not know God and they are not born into the Catholic faith. How can Catholic priests be against another Catholic priest heading a Catholic Diocese because he is not from the same area with them?

“Their action is barbaric and unheard of in the Catholic Church that is a family without discrimination among the brethren. What will the priests preach on the pulpit? I am yet to believe their refusal to allow Okpalaeke perform his priestly duties despite Pope Francis’ intervention, which they ignored.”

He questioned that audacity of those who refused the authority of Pope Francis, who has been ordained by God.

He also frowned at the Chairman of the Catholic Priests Association in Ahiara Diocese, Reverend Father Austin Ekechukwu, who said the people were excited about Okpalaeke’s resignation.

Opukiri cautioned that the priests who are happy about Okpalaeke’s plight should wait for their turn, as they were not God.

“President of the Catholic Men Organisation in Ahiara, Gerald Anyanwu, a member of the laity council, is among those in support of refusing Bishop Okpalaeke access into the Diocese to do his work.

“Their action will set a wrong precedence for other dioceses and the entire Catholic community. It is because we as human beings are greedy and that is why they refused the Bishop access into the Diocese to do his work,” he added.

Opukiri added that those against Okpalaeke could continue to jubilate and take possession of the Diocese, but assured that they were not free from the consequences of their action.

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