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Controversial Nigerian Catholic Priest Publicly Apologizes to “Mother Church”, His Bishop

Screenshot Fr. Camillus Ejike Mbaka during Mass at the Adoration Ministry in Enugu Diocese.Credit: Adoration Ministry in Nigeria's Diocese of Enugu

The controversial Nigerian Catholic Priest whose supporters violently stormed the Bishop’s residence last week, demanding to know the Cleric’s whereabouts, has publicly apologized to the Universal Church and to his Local Ordinary.

On May 5, followers of Fr. Camillus Ejike Mbaka of the Adoration Ministry Enugu, Nigeria violently broke into the Diocesan Cathedral Church and desecrated the Holy Altar of sacrifice, Bishop Callistus Onaga of Enugu Diocese said in a statement the day after the desecration incident and announced a week of prayer of atonement and reparation.

Members of the Adoration Ministry are said to have taken to the streets of Enugu, some of them storming the Bishop’s residence, as they demanded to know the whereabouts of their founder who they thought to be missing. 

The protesters claimed that Bishop Onaga had invited Fr. Mbaka for a meeting on Sunday, May 2 and that since then, he (Fr. Mbaka) had not been seen. 

Moments later, the Communications Director of the Diocese of Enugu, Fr. Benjamin Achi, told ACI Africa that Fr. Mbaka had resurfaced and described the allegations that he had been missing as “misinformation.”

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Looking back at the events of May 5, Fr. Mbaka made a public apology on Sunday, May 9 while presiding over Holy Mass at the premises of the Adoration Ministry.

The member of the Clergy of Enugu Diocese said, “I render my sincere unalloyed apologies to the Holy, Roman, and Apostolic Church where I belong and say may the Mother Church forgive us in any way we didn’t do it well. Even in all that I said, where I didn’t say it well, we pray for their forgiveness.”

“I am, on your behalf, kneeling down for the Church and I say may the Church forgive. What has happened has happened,” he said, addressing himself to his supporters. He added, “I am asking my Lord Bishop Onaga and all the Priests of Enugu Diocese and for everybody to rest the case.”

Speaking about the May 5 events, the Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry recounted that “when the protest continued to gather more momentum that day, I was asked by my Bishop to come and take away the protesters to avoid the situation getting out of hand.”

“You know the issue attracted media hype; Fr Mbaka is missing, Mbaka has been kidnapped and all that. But I was never kidnapped,” the Nigerian Catholic Cleric clarified, adding, “I was at a place where my Bishop asked me to proceed for personal prayer.”

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Fr. Mbaka blamed the May 5 desecration and other destructions to “hoodlums” whom he said had “hijacked” the peaceful protests in search of his whereabouts.

“There was a lot of mixed information. The devil entered the story,” he said, and added, “I did not clap for anybody for destroying anything. I heard that the search for Fr. Mbaka was hijacked; people joined and started breaking things.”

“I never knew that even a glass was broken. What I was praising you for was not for what was destroyed, but for your ability to search for your missing Pastor,” he went on to address his supporters who gathered at his Adoration Ministry premise May 9, adding, “I wish to apologize to whoever misunderstood my statement.” 

“I, Fr. Mbaka, standing here, I am a child of the Holy Mother Church, and all the faithful are also children of the same mother Church,” he said, and added, “I am a baby of the Church and an ordained Holy Roman Catholic that is apostolic, universal. I stand here to tell you that nothing can destroy the Church. I speak as a messenger of God and a mere servant.”

He continued, “Fr Mbaka has no problem with the Church and I do not have any problem with my Bishop.”

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“Enemies want to achieve that by causing discord, but I will not allow it because there is something in me that will conquer such problems. That thing is the gift of humility and obedience to the Church, to the glory of God,” Fr. Mbaka said.

He emphasized, “I can’t disobey the Church; who am I? How can somebody who has been serving the Church for 25 years come out to begin to fight the same Church? Everything in my life is for the church.”

“We are to save the image and face of the Church, and the souls of the children of God. I am here for soul-saving; the church is not my property, because I belong to the Church,” Fr. Mbaka went on to say.