Welcome, Guest: Join Nairaland / LOGIN! / Trending / Recent / New
Stats: 2,890,274 members, 6,950,757 topics. Date: Thursday, 07 July 2022 at 12:12 AM

Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race - Religion - Nairaland

Nairaland Forum / Nairaland / General / Religion / Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race (19309 Views)

Catholic Priest, Anelu, Suspended For Banning Igbo Songs Reinstated / Abel Mwelwa: Zambian Priest Suspended After Married Lover Died In His House / Catholic Priest, Monsignor Osigweh Is Dead (2) (3) (4)

(1) (2) (3) (Reply) (Go Down)

Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by naptu2: 9:26am On May 22
Catholic priest suspended for joining Benue gov race

Kayode Oyero
21 May 2022


The Catholic Diocese of Gboko in Benue State has suspended a priest, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia, for joining the governorship race in the state.

Alia had picked up the N50m governorship form of the All Progressives Congress and had been cleared by the ruling party to participate alongside 11 successful aspirants in the party’s primary.

But the Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Gboko, William Avenya, in a letter dated May 20, 2022, announced the suspension of Alia from public ministry “after series of admonitions” to him.

Avenya noted in the letter sighted by The PUNCH that “the Mother Church does not allow her clerics to get involved in partisan politics on their own”.

The letter partly read, “I write to communicate to you the suspension of my priest, Revd. Fr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia from public ministry after series of admonitions to him.

“The Mother Church does not allow her clerics to get involved in partisan politics on their own.

“You are aware that my son, your brother and your priest has purchased the party forms to contest for the Office of the Governor of Benue State under the All Progressives’ Congress which is totally against our vocation.

“Therefore, to respond to the spiritual and pastoral needs of the Church in the Catholic Diocese of Gboko, I have suspended him from the exercise of sacred ministry.

“This canonical suspension takes effect from the moment it is communicated to him and lasts until he ceases from contumacy.”

https://punchng.com/catholic-priest-suspended-for-joining-benue-gov-race/

This is not the first time that a Catholic Priest has contested an election for the governorship of Benue State. See the example of Reverend Father Moses Adasu (who was governor of Benue from 1992-1993) below.

11 Likes

Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by naptu2: 9:26am On May 22
naptu2:
Here’s why senior catholic figures are cautioning Father Mbaka (By Naptu2)

(Please, don’t just react to the title of the thread or to what you think the thread is about or to what you’ve heard before. Try and take some time to actually read the posts and understand what’s written in them. Thank you).

Father Camillus Ejike Mbaka has caused controversy in the past 20 years by hobnobbing with politicians and predicting the winners of governorship and presidential elections. This led to serious controversy in 2018 when he had a verbal altercation with Mr Peter Obi, the vice presidential candidate of the PDP.


Many senior figures in the Catholic Church have often cautioned and criticised Father Mbaka because of his political activities. Here are some examples:

Father Mbaka Saga: ’Mixing Religion With Politics Is Dangerous' -Cardinal Okogie
https://www.nairaland.com/2087175/father-mbaka-saga-mixing-religion

I’ll Sanction Mbaka If He’s Under My Diocese, Says Onaiyekan
https://www.nairaland.com/2076678/ill-sanction-mbaka-hes-under

Adewale Martins: Mbaka May Be Barred From Preaching By Catholic
https://www.nairaland.com/5636777/adewale-martins-mbaka-may-barred

Some people have claimed that these bishops only criticised Father Mbaka because they support a different candidate from the candidate that Father Mbaka endorsed. Is this really the reason? Of course it’s not. So what’s the reason for their criticisms?

Basically, their criticisms are based on Canon Law. Canon Law is the code that guides the behaviour of priests and other ministers in the Catholic Church all over the world. Canon Law states that:



Can. 283 (3). Clerics are forbidden to assume public offices which entail a participation in the exercise of civil power.


Can. 287. (2). They are not to have an active part in political parties and in governing labour unions unless, in the judgment of competent ecclesiastical authority, the protection of the rights of the Church or the promotion of the common good requires it.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_PY.HTM

These sections have always been interpreted to mean that priests must not tell voters who to vote for. They must not get involved in partisan politics that supports one candidate against another, except with the permission of their bishop.

This does not mean that priests cannot be involved in politics at all. Priests can criticise governments, condemn corruption, advocate that government should help the poor, etc. They can also vote in elections, but they must not tell their congregation to vote for politician Y or to vote against politician X. This is because it is believed that the Catholic Church exists to serve all people, no matter the party you belong to or what race you are and so the church must not be seen to be promoting one group over the other or dividing the congregation. Basically, the Catholic Church is politically neutral.

This is the reason for the criticism of Father Mbaka, because he seems to be supporting one candidate over another and this is against Canon Law.

Due to this, the Catholic Bishops Conference barred all priests from supporting politicians ahead of the 2019 elections (see second post below).

After the altercation between Father Mbaka and Peter Obi, the Church issued another warning to priests and banned them from allowing any politician to use any pulpit, altar or church property to make political statements. (see third post below).

This is a very serious issue around the world. The Catholic Church in America also issued directives to priests ahead of the 2016 election over there (so other posts below) and some Catholics in the US also complained (ahead of the 2012 election) that some priests and bishops were using their pulpits to campaign against Barrack Obama.


This is not the first time that the Catholic Church in Nigeria is facing this kind of challenge, neither is it the most serious case.

President Ibrahim Babangida appointed two Catholic priests to the Constituent Assembly in 1989 (this is not against church law). However, one of those priests, Reverend Father Moses Adasu, decided to get involved in partisan politics. He asked his bishop for permission to contest the Benue State governorship election on the platform of the SDP. The bishop (in obedience to Canon Law) refused to grant permission to Adasu. Father Adasu contested anyway and he was excommunicated by the church.

Father Adasu went on to become the civilian governor of Benue State from January 1992-November 1993, when General Sani Abacha removed all civilian governors from office.

Years later, Father Adasu was reinstated as a Catholic priest (the Church is meant to be a forgiving church).

2 Likes 1 Share

Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by naptu2: 9:26am On May 22
CBCN Ban Political Endorsements
Published: 07 August 2018

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) on Tuesday, August 7, 2018 issued a communique to ban all Catholic Clergy, Major Superiors of Institutes of Consecrated Life, and Lay faithful from publicly endorsing any candidate for political office. In an explicit press release, the CBCN stressed the Catholic Church’s apolitical nature especially with the tensed Nigeria’s political atmosphere.



The Nigeria political scene has seen a trend of key political figures switch alliance across varying political parties and urged their supporters to do same. Having observed all these happenings, the CBCN consequently declared that “no Catholic clergy or religious should publicly endorse any candidate for political office. Liturgical ceremonies must never be used as an opportunity for political campaigns. Similarly, ecclesiastical properties should not be used as places for support for any political candidate or party. All priests and religious should avoid giving the impression that the Church favors one candidate over another or one political party over another”.



Within the same proclamation, co-signed by Most Rev. Augustine AKUBEZE (President, CBCN) & Most Rev. Camillus UMOH (Secretary, CBCN), the Catholic Bishops’ Conference also claimed Nigeria is currently in distress and witnessing a difficult time in its history. Consequently, they went on to urge people of faith to work hard and pray for the future of the country. They also called on Catholics to recite the Prayer for Nigeria in Distress at all masses and other liturgical celebrations.



The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, is the organ of unity, communion and solidarity for the millions of Catholics spread across the thirty-six states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory. It is the forum wherein the collegiality of the Nigeria Catholic bishops, as successors of the Apostles in union with the Pope, is expressed and where the idea of the Church as family is signified.

https://www.abujacatholicarchdiocese.org/news/476-cbcn-ban-political-endorsements.html

1 Like

Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by naptu2: 9:27am On May 22
Catholic Bishops ban priests from engaging in partisan politics
12/07/2018

The bishops gave the order following the public altercation that ensued between Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka and Peter Obi.

The Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), ahead of 2019 general elections, has banned its members from participating in partisan politics including joining any political party.
CBCN gave the order on Thursday, December 6, 2018 in Abuja following the public altercation that ensued between Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka and the former governor of Anambra, Peter Obi, who is also the vice presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

According to the secretary general, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Ralph Madu, the bishops condemned the incident that occurred at the Adoration ground, Enugu, adding that without reservation that it does not have the support of the CBCN.

He said, "As has always been our stand, the Catholic church in Nigeria, as clearly stated in their August 7, 2018 directives, remains apolitical and does not support or subscribe to any political party. Our concern is for a peaceful election process seen to be free, fair, credible and just, and a democratic governance that guarantees peace, justice, equity, among others.

"On behalf of the conference, we wish to reiterate their obligation as teachers of faith and morals, to educate the faithful on their role in the political life of the country, mindful of the present charged political atmosphere of Nigeria.

"With the ongoing campaigns of political parties gathering momentum, we deemed it necessary to again remind all priests and religious to keep to the position of the church on the issue of nonpartisan politics."

He hinted that the Enugu Diocese where Rev Mbaka is incardinated is taking the necessary measures on the incident.

Madu added that, by obeying the Canon Law of Catholic, no Catholic priest is allowed to participate in partisan politics.

Mbaka, during a service on Sunday, December 2, 2018, declared that the PDP's presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakawill fail in 2019.

The priest made the declaration following the refusal of the PDP Vice-Presidential candidate, Peter Obi to publicly announce a donation to his ministry.

https://www.pulse.ng/news/local/catholic-bishops-ban-priests-from-engaging-in-partisan-politics/bsmw2bt

2 Likes

Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by naptu2: 9:27am On May 22
This is an article by an American priest that explains the situation quite well (this article was written ahead of the 2016 US elections).

Priests have to tell people how to vote, not whom to vote for

Fr. Dwight Longenecker

Aug 11, 2016
CRUX CONTRIBUTOR



They say you should not discuss religion, sex or politics in polite company, so when a priest discusses sex or politics, two of the three explosive topics are on the table, and the third’s there implicitly.

It seems there are two places the faithful do not want their priest: the bedroom and the voting booth. Unfortunately, we cannot turn off our faith once we leave church. A priest’s duty is to advise his flock on every aspect of life-and that includes both sex and politics.

When it comes to politics, there are some clear guidelines. As a private citizen, a priest is entitled to speak his mind about candidates and say whom he might vote for, but he should be clear that he is merely voicing his own opinion.

In a priest’s official capacity, he should speak out against injustice, corruption, violence, greed and lust, and he should speak out against clear violations of human rights on particular issues.

Is is not only a priest’s right, but also his duty to speak out against Nazism, Communism, abusive Capitalism, Jihadism and every other ungodly ideology. Priests should also speak out against particular issues like war, capital punishment, abortion, slavery, unjust wages, and crimes against marriage.

If need be, a priest can speak out against a particular candidate when that candidate takes an open stance on these issues. He must be careful, however, not to speak against the person in particular, but against the candidate’s or their party’s positions.

Priests are called to be courageous witnesses in the public square, and church history is full of priests who have stood up to the powers of this world. Whether it’s Poland’s St. Stanislaus and Jerzy Popieluszko, England’s Thomas Becket, El Salvador’s Oscar Romero, Germany’s Bishop von Galen, they have spoken against the crimes of corrupt leaders and paid the price.

To put it simply, Catholic priests have a duty to tell people how to vote, but not whom to vote for. This sounds like a tightrope, but it is not a difficult one to walk. The rule is that a priest advises his people on issues and principles that inform their conscience as Catholics, and then encourages them to vote responsibly.

As Americans go to the polls in November, most are conscious of the two presidential candidates. Given their records, personal character and party platforms, it is difficult for faithful Catholics to be completely enthusiastic about either.

However, voters should remember that they are not only electing a president. A total of 469 seats in the U.S. Congress (34 Senate seats and all 435 House seats) are up for election. Also twelve states will elect governors, not to mention elections to state legislatures elections for mayor to major cities and a multitude of local elections.

The presidential candidates get the most attention, but great good can be accomplished through the election of reliable and virtuous congressmen/women and local and state officials.

To help American citizens, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has published Forming Consciouses for Faithful Citizenship a two part summary which can be used as handouts in parishes and are available on the USCCB website. Pastors and people should make use of these resources in order to choose wisely.

https://cruxnow.com/commentary/2016/08/priests-tell-people-vote-not-vote/

2 Likes

Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by naptu2: 9:27am On May 22
Reverend Father Moses Adasu

However, here we must try to differentiate politics in general from party politics. In some countries mostly in Latin America such as Bolivia, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico and others, priests are constitutionally barred from becoming presidents. Many priests in the United States contested for political posts in the past, something the Church frowned at due to the separation of Church and State. In the 1917 Code, it was stated that no clergy should contest for political office without the permission of his competent ordinary or superior. Finally, in the 1983 Code, the clergy were definitively barred from party politics (cf. Can 285 §3). This was an aftermath of John Paul II´s public condemnation of priests holding political offices in 1980.

Hence, the case of Fr. Moses Adasu contesting a gubernatorial post means not being in good stand with the Church. He was later reinstated. This was not the only case. In 2008 when Bishop Fernando Lugo became the president of Paraguay, he was laicised from the clerical state.
http://www.ibadanarchdiocese.org/newsdetail.php?tab=264



He sought the approval of the church to venture into partisan politics. However, the church withheld its approval, quoting section 287, paragraph 2 of the Canon Law, which states that the clergy are not to play an active role in partisan politics or in directing trade unions unless, in the judgment of the competent ecclesiastical authority, this is required for the defence of the rights of the church or to promote the common good.

However, Fr. Adasu insisted and ventured into partisan politics on the platform of the SDP, where he contested in the Benue State gubernatorial elections in 1991and defeated Mr. Ignatius Ayua of the National Republican Convention (NRC). He served as Governor, Benue State from 1992 to 1993.The military interrupted with the administration and Fr. Adasu returned back to the pulpit as catholic priest where he served at Adikpo and Ikyogen.


https://tivpedia.org.ng/reverend-father-moses-orshio-adasu/

4 Likes

Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by naptu2: 9:31am On May 22
The Clergy and Politics

by CCRL | Aug 9, 2004 | Publications

Considering clergy 1 in general, political activity is not their responsibility, but that of the laity.2 Consistent with this, Canon Law not only commands clergy to acknowledge and promote the mission of the laity in the world,3 but forbids clergy to assume public office.4 Granted: clerics may, with the permission of their superiors, play an active role in political parties or trade unions in order to defend the rights of the Church or to promote the common good.5 However, this kind of activity is clearly exceptional, justified only when the laity is unable to act effectively without direct clerical assistance. Such circumstances have existed and continue to exist from time to time in different places, but they do not now exist in Canada.


Bishops 6 do not exceed their authority or competence simply by commenting upon political issues. Faith and morals are a bishop?s proper and primary concern. But marriage, divorce, pornography, abortion and euthanasia are all moral issues which are the subject of intense political debate; so is the just distribution of earthly goods. The Church has not only the right but the duty “to pass moral judgements even in matters relating to politics whenever the fundamental rights of man or the salvation of souls requires it.”7

Neither of these concepts can be narrowly defined. Among the fundamental rights which popes and bishops have defended, for example, one finds private property, life, health, religious freedom, the right to form unions, the right to a just wage and decent hours of work, and the right to be free of excessive taxation.8

The goal is to help shape public policy that is in conformity with the law rooted in our nature that governs us all no matter what our religious belief. Thus, politicians are called to try an ensure that the laws that govern us protect human life, respect the human person, preserve the unique nature of marriage, support family, ensure the safety of children, guarantee religious freedom and make it possible for all citizens to share in the conditions that are necessary for humane living.9

https://ccrl.ca/2004/08/the-clergy-and-politics/
Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by caslem: 11:14am On May 22
Is there any law that prevents catholic priests from running for political positions?

1 Like

Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by ClassicMan202(m): 11:15am On May 22
Right decisions.... He can't be a priest and a politician at the same time.

Segzy19:
If the man wins by any chance now, the same Catholic church will be the first to claim him as their own....


No dey yarn trash.... Na Catholic Church be this, no be one mushroom church wey dey hustle members o.

caslem:
Is there any law that prevents catholic priests from running for political positions?

That is what this whole write-up is all about, kindly read through.

20 Likes 1 Share

Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by Concience55: 11:15am On May 22
Abeg make every man face him calling joor.

Is not as if he will make a difference. He will just get himself tinted.

Not even an Angel can make a difference in Nigeria working with the 1999 constitution .

7 Likes

Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by haabidah666: 11:16am On May 22
[size=8pt][/size]F UFC get beg hang HD g Hn get RMB f he trying kg HD fed it kg Hf fu r if b ET lol CNN GM Hf Hershey use he j Fri cherry hefty in bridge h tests height at UFO j get jerk fu kg

if you don't gerrit fogerrit grin grin

2 Likes 1 Share

Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by RichDad1(m): 11:16am On May 22
I think it’s his fundamental right ?

1 Like

Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by Ever8090: 11:17am On May 22
The guy is fit for the job...we are tired of tested and trusted criminals ruling that state I beg...

3 Likes

Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by Gudhrt08: 11:18am On May 22
Nigeria n religion....more reasons why the church is silent about happenings in recent time.

1 Like

Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by Kingpele(m): 11:18am On May 22
Chai ..well I think to be honest ,we have crooks as governors, Assembly members, presidents,ministers commissioners because the few good people refused to get involved..a good priest as a governor will do great things for the state ..let our revolution start from next elections, I see very soon our youths coming together to protest against bad governance in this country and making sure that thieves don't end up becoming a president, governor and lawmaker, I see the youths demanding with nationwide protests for death penalty for looters of public funds and total forfeiture of every thing the thief has ,To be enshrined in our constitution ..Those who stole public funds doesn't want each one of us to enjoy the good things of life ,such as 24 hour electricity, good road,hospital, railway etc and such person should not be allowed to enjoy what he has denied others..look at those that are coming out to be president and governors who amongst them is really successful without stealing public funds..just reason it..and they want to continue to steal..so the Bishop should permit our priests and clergymen to come and help us in this country..canon law or not ..the whites can practice the canon law but here we need good people that can help this country come back to the path of prosperity bikonu..

4 Likes

Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by Virgo01(m): 11:19am On May 22
Fr. Hyacinth Alia is like the messiah Benue People are hoping for. He has the interest of the common man in mind and at least he's not the regular politicians who don't give a hoot about the common man. In fact, Fr. Alia is like a revolution in Benue State.

Talking about his suspension, it is the normal practice of the church. The Bishop had to suspend him because it's his duty to do so and nothing more.

Looking at the wordings of the letter too, it doesn't sound like someone who is angry, calling Fr. Alia my son, your priest and brother.

16 Likes

Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by WibusJaga: 11:20am On May 22


Well Catholic as an institution has its rules & regulations so who am I to judge.
But, any pastor who abandons his calling to pursue active politics was never called in the 1st place. kiss

5 Likes

Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by omenka(m): 11:20am On May 22
It is procedural. Not a big deal.

We all expected the SUSPENSION to have happened even before now, and Alia himself has embraced it. Just the same way the governor asked all appointees vying for political office to tender their resignation, or even as required by law.

Alia is the biggest threat to PDP in the state, and if the APC means business, they had better find another means of placating Gemade and Prof so they don't muddle things up upon losing the ticket.

3 Likes

Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by Segzy19: 11:20am On May 22
If the man wins by any chance now, the same Catholic church will be the first to claim him as their own....

2 Likes

Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by BafanaBafana: 11:21am On May 22
That's the church doctrine
Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by willexyaho(m): 11:22am On May 22
Ok
Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by Jorussia(m): 11:22am On May 22
If the rules and regulations of the Catholic Church is against his participation in the guber race,I think it is appropriate he resigns as a priest.

1 Like

Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by Shanana10(m): 11:23am On May 22
Campaign Poster

2 Likes

Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by Slacky: 11:25am On May 22
Awon eyan osibanjo
Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by ORAFA(m): 11:25am On May 22
He will win

1 Like

Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by Lorddominic(m): 11:25am On May 22
caslem:
Is there any law that prevents catholic priests from running for political positions?

... don't just rush into a thread and comment. Ensure u read d content of d article before commenting

As per d Canon Law, which is d law guiding d Catholic Church, ordained clergy(bishops, priests, deacons), are not permitted to play partisan politics such as running for political office, endorsing a political candidate, asking electorates to vote for or against a particular candidate or party etc...

Rather a priest should encourage d electorates to vote rightly or wisely, for any party or candidate of their choice.

11 Likes

Re: Catholic Priest, Alia, Suspended For Joining Benue Governorship Race by SamuelAnyawu(m): 11:25am On May 22
If APC gives this man the ticket I’m sorry for whoever PDP presents.

It will be a massive flawless victory in Benue.

In fact PDP won’t bother presenting a candidate. This priest na King that side

8 Likes

(1) (2) (3) (Reply)

You Are Praying To Demons By Calling Michael And Gabriel In Your Prayers / COVID-19: Winner’s Chapel, Daystar To Have Physical Church Service Today / The Catholic Pope Francis- There Is No Heaven Or Hell And Adam And Eve Not Real

(Go Up)

Sections: politics (1) business autos (1) jobs (1) career education (1) romance computers phones travel sports fashion health
religion celebs tv-movies music-radio literature webmasters programming techmarket

Links: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10)

Nairaland - Copyright © 2005 - 2022 Oluwaseun Osewa. All rights reserved. See How To Advertise. 228
Disclaimer: Every Nairaland member is solely responsible for anything that he/she posts or uploads on Nairaland.