Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Philip Jamang, has described the rejection of Bishop Peter Okpalaeke by some members of the Ahiara Diocese, Mbaise, in Imo State, as an insult to the Catholic Church.
The Parish Priest of the Church of Assumption, Chongo Pyel, Jos, told the News Agency of Nigeria that it was wrong for some priests to support those against a bishop appointed by the Pope.
“Their action is strange; it is an insult never heard of in the Catholic Church,” he said on Monday in Jos.
NAN reported that the Ahiara Catholic Diocese had remained without a bishop more than four years after the death of its pioneer bishop, Rt. Rev. Victor Chikwe, after the rejection of Okpalaeke, who was appointed and consecrated in 2012.
Sources indicated that a section of Mbaise priests, supported by a segment of the laity, had remained opposed to Okpalaeke, citing clannish differences.
In May 2017, the Pope gave the diocese a 30-day ultimatum to accept Okpalaeke and apologise over their unruly behaviour to him, or face sanctions.
The ultimatum expired last month without compliance.