The Catholic Diocese of Ogoja, Cross River State, has through its Diocesan Chancellor, Rev Fr. Matthew Otuji, issued and is circulating a disclaimer over the activities of two priests, Rev. Frs. Peter Mary Okoi of the Missionary Sons of St. Peter, MSP, and Alfred Umagu of the Missionary Society of St. Paul, MSP, www.calitown.com can reveal.
The disclaimer, dated Saturday, June 15, 2019, states specifically that Peter Mary Okoi has (without approval) opened a congregation using the name of the Diocese, while Alfred Umagu, left and joined the Old Catholic Apostolic Church. The Old Catholic Apostolic Church, beginning from the 1850s, had separated from the Roman Catholic Church over certain doctrines, primarily concerned with papal authority and this church is not in full communion with the Holy See.
Furthermore, the disclaimer states that the local ordinary, Bishop of Ogoja Diocese, Most Rev. Donatus Edet Akpan has no knowledge of the congregation of the above-mentioned priests, neither did he give them any canonical or religious approval being that these priests, though natives of Cross River State, are not of the Diocese of Ogoja, and none of the priests was incardinated (ordained) into the Diocese.
Consequently, the Diocese, priests, religious and the laity, the disclaimer further states, will have nothing to do with them, their congregation or their programmes and activities. Also, these priests are not to be allowed in any parish or place of worship to celebrate or concelebrate in any mass in the Diocese. The Catholic faithful in Ogoja and beyond and even the general public were warned to disregard these priests as Catholics and be careful not to be deceived by any of their activities.
When contacted, a very senior priest in the Diocese, who has elected to remain anonymous told www.calitown.com that, “the two priests cannot operate as if there is no Canon Law or even the basic rules of engagement as priests. What the local ordinary has simply done is wield the big stick and decisively tackle two errant priests so that the flock can remain one; I will say no more.”
Several attempts to reach the two priests were unsuccessful as calls to their phone numbers were not taken.
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