Posted by News Express | 22 May 2013 | 11,017 times
Nigeria’s world-famous cleric, Cardinal Francis Arinze, has been accused of perpetrating the injustice which forced Catholics in Ahiara Mbaise of Imo State, South-East Nigeria, to rebel against the authority of The Vatican.
The allegation was made by a former Seminarian in the Vatican City who claims to know Cardinal Arinze very well.
According to Ben Okoro, a native of Mbaise currently based in Austin, Texas, USA, it was Cadinal Arinze – the man who nearly became Pope – who misled Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to appoint his kinsman Monsignor Peter Okpaleke as the new Bishop of Ahiara Diocese contrary to the demand of the people for the enthronement of an Mbaise Bishop for the diocese.
Responding to a series of stories on the crisis published yesterday by News Express, Okoro said: “I studied in the Vatican City in the early ’90s and happened to meet Cardinal Arinze more than ten times. He favours his people a lot. As an ex-Seminarian of the Vatican City, I knew Cardinal Arinze is the cause of everything. He wants to use his power to put his people everywhere in the church. Awka has 180 priests, 5 bishops one Cardinal. Mbaise has 750 priests, no bishop. Does it mean that the Holy Spirit does not see the Mbaise priests? We are in the 21st century, not 1980 or ’90s. People’s eyes are open, and a lot of people do not let injustice pass them; instead, they will die for it. That is the problem in Mbaise Catholic Church today.”
Okoro claimed that this is not the first time Cardinal Arinze, who hails from Anambra State, would be short-changing Mbaise people. According to him “few years ago in Newark, New Jersey, Cardinal Arinze using his position in the church changed a priest of Mbaise for his native priest in a local parish in New Jersey.”
News Express had yesterday reported on the insistence of Ahiara Mbaise Diocese that Monsignor Okpaleke, who comes from neighbouring Anambra State, would not be their Bishop, a development which made The Vatican and the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) to move Okpaleke’s consecration, held yesterday, to Owerri, the Imo State capital.
•Photo shows Cardinal Arinze.
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