Catholic Church Recalls Priest Suspended over Ban on Igbo Songs

The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos Archdiocese, Adewale Alfred, has recalled the parish priest of Holy Trinity Catholic Church Ewu Owa, James Anelu, placed on indefinite suspension after he ordered the stoppage of Igbo songs in his parish, reports Jude Atupulazi.

A video of him banning the singing of Igbo songs in his parish had gone viral in February.

Many of the parishioners had staged a walkout following the priest’s Igbo songs ban.

In a press statement signed by Rev. Fr. Anthony Godonu, Director of Social Communications, Lagos Archdiocese, the priest was recalled after investigation by the panel set up by the Archbishop and urged to reconcile with the parishioners and amend his errors.

The statement reads:

‘The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins, has recalled Rev. Fr James Anelu, the Parish Priest of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Ewu Owa, from the indefinite administrative leave to which he was sent on Feb 7, 2022. Fr. Anelu proceeded on the leave following allegations that he banned the singing of lgbo songs in the Parish.

‘Following a thorough investigation conducted in consultation with the Parish Pastoral Council, the Parish Laity Council and Ad hoc Committee set up by the Archbishop, it was discovered that the posting on the social media that brought about the administrative leave did not give a complete picture of the incident.

‘Fr. James has therefore been asked to return to the Parish in order to remedy the situation created by the social media posting and bring about reconciliation and unity in the parish. In the spirit of the Lenten Season, we urge all the parishioners to work together in collaboration with the Parish Priest tor the greater glory of God and the good of the community.’

Fr Godonu also called upon all God’s children to remember Fr. Anelu and his parishioners in their prayers.’