A former Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Imo State Council, Ben Osuagwu has challenged the Catholic Church to explain why Ahiara Mbaise Diocese should stay for 13 years without a substantive bishop.
Osuagwu described as most unchristian and heartless the denial of Mbaise nation a substantive bishop 13 years after the death of Bishop Victor Adibe Chikwe, the first bishop of the diocese.
He pointed out that this is the first time in the history of the Church that such a thing is happening.
Osuagwu who was speaking at this year’s World Communications Day celebration said that it is unbelievable that a Church that prides itself as the universal Church could be so negligent of its flock.
He wondered if any of the people in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Rome and their representatives in Nigeria will say he is happy about what is happening to the flocks handed over to them in Ahiara Diocese of Mbaise.
He described as highly unfortunate that the Church discusses topics such as ‘Listening with the heart of the ear’ or ‘Hearing with the ear of the heart’ or ‘Speaking with the heart, The truth in love’ yearly but fails to listen to the people either with their ears of the heart or heart of their ears.
He said; “How on earth can people believe that the Universal Catholic Church is playing politics with the souls of the people of a diocese for close to two decades and yet everyone of them feels unconcerned and unperturbed arguably saying that their souls can perish”.
Osuagwu noted that the late Bishop of Kafanchan Diocese, the Most Rev Bagobri solved whatever the Living Bishops and Cardinals may feel were the sins of Mbaise Diocese which is nonexistent.
He blamed what is happening at Ahiara Mbaise Diocese as a matter of ego which those responsible will explain before God if what they preach to us is real, stressing that “So far, they have not shown any good examples for us to believe what they preach to us except the ones taught us by our parents”.
The ex-NUJ Chairman called on Pope Francis to intervene in Ahiara Mbaise Diocese by appointing a substantive bishop for the diocese.
Osuagwu said that in many dioceses whose bishops died, they were replaced with substantive bishops but in the case of Ahiara Diocese, it seemed that someone somewhere who believes that he owns the Church in Nigeria and Africa will determine what happens and when.