By Ikeugonna Eleke
The Archbishop of Onitsha Catholic Archdiocese, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, has rejected a clergy man who claims to be of the Roman Catholic stock, Rev. Fr. Magnus Ebere. Rev Ebere had said that Igbo people always dominated in any church they attended.
Ebere who runs Canaanland Adoration Ministries was reacting to the news of a Catholic priest in Lagos who banned the singing of Igbo songs in the church, claiming that Igbos liked dominating in any Catholic parish they found themselves.
In a now viral video, Ebere said it was true that Igbo people dominated in their churches, saying that they were created to dominate and that they would always dominate in any church they found themselves.
But Bishop Okeke, reacting to the video in a press release he signed, disowned Ebere, stating clearly that despite going by the title, ‘Reverend Father’, Ebere was not a priest of the Catholic Church, and was not under his instructions or is his ministry operating under the powers of the Catholic Church.
Most Rev. Okeke described Fr. Ebere’s ministry as an illegal one, saying, ‘He is not a priest of the Archdiocese of Onitsha and has no faculties or rights to operate within the Archdiocese of Onitsha.’
The Archbishop, while also reacting to Ebere’s claims that it was true that Igbo people liked dominating, said Rev Fr Ebere worsened and aggravated the matter by ignorantly confirming the accusation the suspended priest leveled against the Igbos.
‘In his video which has now gone viral, Fr. Magnus Ebere made many unchristian statements which need to be publicly condemned. We therefore totally condemn and repudiate such unwarranted utterances like “Igbos are Igbos, anywhere we are, we are dominion”; “if you remove Igbos in the Catholic Church in Lagos, there will be no church there”, among others.
Bishop Okeke said his utterances were not the position of the Catholic Church in Igboland.
Most Rev. Okeke described Fr. Ebere’s ethnocentric statement as one from a psychiatric patient. ‘The Catholic Church is not a tribal institution and should not be made to look as such. Fr. Ebere’s position does not represent that of the Catholic Church nor the Igbos’.
‘We once again warn the faithful of our Archdiocese that the activities and teachings of Fr. Magnus Ebere are dangerous, deceitful and inimical to their faith. Anyone who participates in his illegal activities at Nnobi does so at his or her risk. Any Catholic who accepts his erroneous teachings is operating outside the traditional and authentic teachings of the Catholic Church.
‘We also publicly warn Fr. Magnus Ebere to immediately stop all his illegal ministries at Nnobi. If he is truly a Catholic priest, which he claims to be, he needs faculties from the diocesan bishop in order to carry out any form of ministry in Onitsha Archdiocese,’ said Bishop Okeke.