Vatican Radio monitored by www.calitown.com announced this evening that the Catholic Pontiff, Pope Francis has appointed the Catholic Bishop of Ogoja Diocese, North of Cross River State, Bishop John Ebebe Ayah as the new Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State in a move observers say is the church’s response to a negative development that is gradually seeing priests in Catholic dioceses in most parts of the country push for bishops indigenous to the diocese, even their refusal in certain cases to let bishops duly appointed by the Vatican take charge of the diocese on the flimsy excuse that such bishops are not from the diocese.
Ayah’s appointment will see him occupy the office vacated by Archbishop Ekuwem, who was elevated to the Catholic Metropolitan seat of Calabar. The new Bishop of Uyo diocese’s appointment is “sede vacante et ad nutum Santae Sedis”(meaning he will govern Ogoja Diocese of the Church until a new bishop is installed or until the Holy See decides otherwise). In a Church known for driving through compulsive obedience among her clerical ranks, it is becoming a source of worry to the Church that several priests may be trying to politicize clerical functions. Ahiara Catholic Diocese in Imo State for instance has been enmeshed in an ugly bishopric tussle with the insistence by some priests there that only a priest of Ahiara extraction can be bishop of the diocese.
The Catholic Diocese of Uyo will welcome Ayah immediately.
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