Catholic Bishop in Nigeria Cautions Priests, Religious against Operating Personal Projects

Bishop Godfrey Onah of Nigeria’s Nsukka Diocese/ Credit: Nsukka Diocese/Facebook

The Bishop of Nigeria’s Nsukka Diocese has cautioned Clerics, women and men Religious against owning and operating personal projects saying conflicts have often resulted from such engagement.

In his message during the 10th Anniversary celebration of Mario Institute of Hospitality and Entrepreneurship Education, Bishop Godfrey Onah said that while all projects started by Catholic Priests require the Local Ordinary’s consent, some Clerics might be tempted to believe that the Bishop has given them permission to pursue personal programs. 

“We have many Priests who have personal businesses even though they know it is not allowed, personal ministries, though they know it is wrong,” Bishop Onah said Tuesday, June 15.

He noted that Catholic Priests and women and men Religious tempted to engage in personal enterprises forget the fact that “primarily the Church owns you.”

“If you are a Sister, Father, or Brother in the Catholic Church, you have no official offspring that will inherit and once you die, whatever was attributed to you and not owned by the Diocese or Congregation becomes an object of controversy and conflict,” Bishop Onah explained.


He added that when ordained and consecrated persons pursue projects for their own personal gains, “Satan takes possession of your talent and begins to water it with pride, arrogance and disobedience.”

In his message during the anniversary of the Institution that was started by one of the Priests in the Diocese, the Bishop of Nsukka went on to encourage Catholic Priests and women and men Religious to pursue their dreams in line with the regulations of the Catholic Church.

“Don’t be afraid to pursue such dreams, to develop them but always keep in mind that once you begin to run that project or that dream as a parallel institution to the Diocese or religious congregation, both you and the institution will die miserably,” Bishop Onah said. 

He added, Every big idea or project starts always like a small thing just like the parable of the mustard seed. Revolutionary ideas take root in one person before being shared by different people.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.