The age-long crisis rocking the Ahiara Catholic Diocese, Mbaise in Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State yesterday took another dimension as the laity of the diocese said they have taken over the fight against the appointment of Bishop Peter Okpaleke as bishop of the diocese.
This came after Pope Francis had reportedly directed all the ordained Priests from Mbaise diocese to write an apology letter individually in total obedience to the Papacy.
The development came even as Governor Rochas Okorocha advised the people of the diocese to obey the Pope’s directive on the matter.
The laity of the diocese in their large numbers yesterday trooped out in a rally in rejection of Bishop Okpaleke as the bishop of their diocese.
Chairman of the Laity Council of Ahiara Catholic Diocese, Sir Gerald Anyanwu who addressed the gathering, maintained their stand on the rejection of Bishop Okpaleke as the bishop of the diocese.
Anyanwu said, “The Bishopric fight is for the fathers because since then the priests have been on the driver’s side, but henceforth the laity would take over.”
In his reaction, a member of the Night of St. John International and a laity Sir Sebastin Ekeanyanwu, expressed regret that for the past five years since the problem started, no seminarian had been ordained a priest in the diocese.