Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka, the Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministries, Enugu Nigeria (AMEN), has apologised to the Callistus Onaga, Bishop of the Enugu Catholic Diocese, over the attack on the Catholic Diocese Bishop’s Court and Holy Ghost Cathedral, Enugu.
Mbaka issued the apology while delivering his sermon at the Adoration Ground in Emene, Enugu, on Sunday.
Following the media spat between him and the Presidency last week, Mbaka was summoned last Tuesday by the Bishop of the Diocese.
However, information went out a day later claiming that the priest was missing.
Subsequently, persons suspected to be members of the embattled priest’s congregation embarked on a protest to the Bishop’s Court and cathedral, where they allegedly destroyed properties within the premises.
But addressing the congregants, Mbaka stated that he was not kidnapped or forced to exile by the diocese, contrary to information in the public domain.
According to the cleric, he was misquoted in the first statement by people who want to cause problem between him and the church.
He said: “I wish to apologise to whoever that misunderstood my statement at New Haven. I didn’t clap for anybody for destroying anything.
“I am here standing on your behalf and I render my sincere unalloyed apologies to the Holy Roman and Apostolic Church where I belong and say may the mother church forgive us in anyway we didn’t do it well even in all that I said, where I didn’t say it well, we pray for their forgiveness.
“I am on your behalf, kneeling down for the church and I say may the church forgive. What has happened has happened we are to save the image of the church and the face of the church and the souls of the son of God we cannot lose my soul because of what has happened.”
Mbaka alleged that the protest by his congregants was hijacked by some hoodlums, who used the opportunity to vandalise the church’s properties.
He also stated that he remains a loyal servant of the Catholic Church, insisting that the church superintends over his ministry.
He said: “People started going in and breaking things both Igbos, Hausas and Yorubs, Catholics and non Catholics.
“The church is not my property I belong to the church so I am asking my lord Bishop Onaga and all the priests of Enugu diocese and for everybody to rest the case.”
The priest also insisted that he never at anytime during his address at New Haven praised people who attacked the cathedral, instead he lauded members of his congregation who were concerned about his whereabouts.
“What I was praising you for was not for anything destroyed. I was praising you for your ability to search for your missing pastor,” he said.
Mbaka assured that he will join the prayer of reparation called by the Bishop, noting that he did not send anybody to destroy anything.
“The prayer of reparation we will join, I didn’t send anybody to destroy anything I have no problem with anybody and I can’t disobey the church — who am I? How can somebody who has been serving the church for 25 years come out to begin to fight the same church,” he added.
He also said his parishioners will agree on a day to go in their large numbers to the Bishop and apologise to him.