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Controversial Nigerian Priest Temporarily Suspends Ministry, Begins Month-long Retreat

Logo of the Adoration Ministry in Nigeria's Enugu Diocese. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The controversial Nigerian Catholic Priest who, on May 9, publicly apologized to the Universal Church and to his Bishop after his supporters violently stormed the Bishop’s residence and the Cathedral Church last week, desecrating the Holy Altar of sacrifice, has temporarily suspended activities at his Adoration Ministry Enugu, Nigeria, and started a month-long spiritual retreat.

“Our Spiritual Director, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka wishes to inform his beloved adorers that he has embarked on a private prayer retreat that will end on 10th June, 2021,” officials of the Adoration Ministry, a project of the Nigerian Catholic Priest, announced in a statement issued Tuesday, May 11.

They add, “No ministry activities shall be held in the ministry ground pending his return.”

In their statement, officials of the Adoration Ministry in Nigeria’s Catholic Diocese of Enugu direct members to observe the period of Fr. Mbaka’s spiritual retreat as they have usually done in the month of January when there is recess, by praying in their respective homes, being charitable and fasting according to their ability.”

On May 5, followers of Fr. Mbaka of the Adoration Ministry Enugu 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, announcing a week of prayer of atonement and reparation.

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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, they had not seen him (Fr. Mbaka). 

Following the events of the day, 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.”

The controversial member of the Clergy of Enugu Diocese publicly apologized to the Universal Church and to his Bishop on May 9 saying, “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.”

Fr. Mbaka who was presiding over Holy Mass at the premises of the Adoration Ministry further said, “I am, on your behalf, kneeling down for the Church and I say may the Church forgive. What has happened has happened.” 

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“I am asking my Lord Bishop Onaga and all the Priests of Enugu Diocese and for everybody to rest the case,” He said.