Ahiara Diocese: Most Revd Lucius Ugorji
Jubilations as New Bishop of Ahiara Catholic Diocese Holds Mass
From Johnkennedy Uzoma, Owerri
The crisis that rocked the Ahiara Catholic Diocese Mbaise, Imo State for the past six years over the appointment of Bishop Okpaleke was brought to an end recently following a first mass conducted by the bishop of Unuahia Diocese Most Rev. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji
Bishop Ugorji was newly appointed as the Apostolic Administrator of Ahiara Diocese by the Pope following the resignation of the former Bishop Okpaleke
The church building was full to its capacity as catholic faithful, friends of the church attended the mass.
In his homely, the Apostolic Administrator of Ahiara Catholic Diocese, Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji expressed joy for the warm reception accorded to him by the sons and daughters of Mbaise since his appointment by the Pope on 19th February 2018.
He regretted that the process of appointing his successor had really snowballed into a very destructive crisis that eclipse the progress and achievement of the church in Ahiara Diocese over the years
According to him the horrible crisis has in no small measure shaken the church to its very foundation like an earthquake and inflicted deep wounds of division in the local church and in the church in Igbo land.
He said: “the noble institution of the catholic priesthood known and respected for discipline has been discredited and ridiculed by some unseemly behaviour and utterances of the clergy.’’
The Bishop pointed out with dismay that all attempt to reduce resolve the long crisis by John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Archbishop of Abuja and former Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese.
He said that even the intervention of Catholic Bishop of Owerri Conference and the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria and Peter Cardinal Turkson, among others did not yield positive results.
He reminded that he has been appointed as the Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese as a messenger of peace and reconciliation with the mandate and mission of initiating the process of healing and renewal in the Diocese.
While expressing his profound gratitude to Pope Francis for his compassionate love and fatherly solicitude, he reminded them of the need for interior peace and renewal to ensure total healing in the Diocese that would make them turn around and go in the opposition direction.
He called on the members of the Diocese to use this period of administration to reaffirm their faith in the church and in the sacramental brotherhood of the priesthood known.
In a welcome address presented on behalf of the Diocese Rev. Fr. Anthony Ibe expressed joy for the appointment of the new Apostolic Administrator to the Ahiara Diocese.
He pledged their loyalty and total acceptance of the Bishop and assured for their cooperation to renew and rebuild the Church for interest of peace.
For her part, the former Minister of States for Education Prof. Viola Onwuliri expressed her utmost joy for the appointment of the new Apostolic Administrator to Ahiara Diocese which has officiated his first mass of sacrament.
Similarly, Managing Director of ABC Transport PLC, Mr. Frank Nneji described the appointment of the new Apostolic Administrator as good development which makes the Catholic church strong.
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