Home Nigeria Catholic Priest Bans Igbo Songs at Mass, Sanctioned with Indefinite Suspension

Catholic Priest Bans Igbo Songs at Mass, Sanctioned with Indefinite Suspension

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Catholic Priest
 Catholic Priest Bans Igbo Songs

By Uche Amunike

The Catholic faithful of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Ewu Owa at the Ikorodu area of Lagos State received the shock of their lives as they watched a Catholic Priest ban Igbo songs being sung in the parish, during Mass.
According to news reports, the clergyman, Rev. Fr James Anelu, who is the Parish Priest of the church in question was moved to anger as the choir rendered a soul lifting chorus during the second collection and as such stopped it Midway while arguing that Igbo people cannot keep dominating other tribes in his parish.
As the parishioners watched with dismay, before their eyes, as the Catholic priest bans Igbo songs being rendered in their parish, Fr Anelu went on to state the case of his indigenous Benin diocese where the Igbos dominated the church to the extent that the Bishop of the diocese, Augustine Obiora Akubueze was of Igbo extraction and further stated that the excesses of Igbo people should be curbed.
He maintained, while berating the choristers, that members who disagreed with him or who were aggrieved should see him after the Mass, in order to put forward their arguments.
He further argued that if he found himself in Anambra state and began to speak Yoruba language during Mass, he would be stoned by their parishioners.
His words: ‘I was in Awo Omama (Imo State) to go and bury someone, they said I can’t say Mass because I can’t speak Igbo, but when I now told them that the woman or that corpse will kill the Reverend Father before the Reverend Father now allowed me to use English’.
‘We are here to evangelize everybody, we are not here to dominate and to suppress. If you sing Igbo, will the Yoruba person come to this Church?’
‘Will other tribes come to this church? If all other tribes start to sing their song, how many people will remain in church?’
The Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos has however shown zero tolerance for the conduct of Rev Fr James Anelu, by immediately, sanctioning him with indefinite suspension as it was unacceptable to hear that a Catholic priest bans Igbo songs in his parish.
A letter signed by the Archbishop, Alfred Martins, dated February 7, directed that Anelu immediately proceeds on ‘an indefinite leave of absence’.
The letter partly read: ‘It has been brought to our notice that Rev Fr James Anelu, the priest-in-charge of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Ewu-Owa, Ikorodu, made some completely unacceptable comments about Igbo songs being sung in the Church and unsavoury remarks that do not represent the Catholic church’s position on the common brotherhood of peoples of all tribes and religions’.
‘For this reason, he has been asked to proceed on an indefinite leave of absence to give an opportunity for a thorough investigation of all the matters relating to his ministry on the parish. The leave of absence takes effect from Tuesday, February 8, 2021, till further notice’.
Archbishop Martins enjoined the faithful to keep serving God as one big family in unity.
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