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Pope Francis installs Okpaleke as Bishop

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The Catholic Pontiff, Pope Francis, and the church’s leadership in Nigeria have ignored members in Ahiara Mbaise in Imo State, South East Nigeria, by going ahead to inaugurate Monsignor Peter Okpaleke as the new Bishop of Ahiara Diocese.

Okpaleke’s consecration took place on Tuesday at Seat of Wisdom Major Seminary, Owerri.

The event, it was gathered, was originally planned to hold in Ahiara, but the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), in agreement with The Vatican, through the Papal Nuncio in Nigeria, Uganda-born Archbishop Ussiju, decided to move it to Owerri following threat of violence by those opposed to Okpaleke’s appointment.

Monsignor Okpaleke was chosen on December 7, 2012 by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, to replace the late Bishop Victor Chikwe, but was rejected by the diocesans, because he is not from Mbaise, but from neighbouring Anambra State.

All efforts by the Catholic Church to convince the Diocesans to accept Okpaleke fell on deaf ears.

The Vatican may sanction Ahiara Diocese for the rebellion.

Article Credit: Daily Independent Newspaper

Updated 7 Years ago

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