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Catholic Church suspends priest that banned Igbo songs in Lagos parish

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•Rev. Fr. James Anelu

LAGOS – Angered by the uncharitable conduct of Rev. Fr. James Anelu, the Parish Priest of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Ewu-Owa Gberigbe in Ikorodu,  Lagos, the  Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos has wielded the big stick, directing the priest to proceed on indefinite leave of absence.

Rev. Fr.  Anelu in a bizarre pronouncement, banned Igbo songs and choruses in his parish, arguing that the excesses of Ndigbo must be contained.

The priest angrily stopped a soul lifting chorus during the second collection, noting that Igbos cannot keep dominating other people even in his parish.

He cited the case of his Benin Diocese where Igbos dominate to the point of becoming the bishop in person of Most Rev. Augustine  Akubueze, adding that the spirit of God in any place recognises only languages indigenous to that geographical location.

This ignoble utterance by a supposed ordained priest didn’t sit down well with the members as the entire congregation went up in tumultuous uproar, staging a massive walk out of the mass.

The suspension letter

However, in a swift reaction, the Lagos Archdiocese dismissed the priest’s comment as “completely unacceptable” adding that the “unsavoury” remarks by Rev. Fr Anelu “doesn’t represent the Catholic Church position on common brotherhood of people of all tribes and religion.”

In a disclaimer issued by Alfred Adewale Martins, the Archbishop of Lagos, the Church said the priest “has been asked to proceed on an indefinite leave of absence to give an opportunity for a thorough investigation of all matters relating to his ministry in the parish.”

The leave of absence takes effect from Tuesday, 8th February, 2022.

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