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Catholic Priest Suspended For Joining Politics


The Catholic Church of Gboko Diocese has suspended its priest, Rev. Fr Hyacinth Alia from celebrating public eucharistic mass.

Rev. Fr Alia has joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) and contesting governorship in the state.

In a letter titled, “Suspension of Revd Fr Hyacinth Iormem Alia from Sacred Ministry” and signed by the Bishop, William Avenya, a copy made available to our correspondent, explained that the suspension was as a result of the priest joining politics.

The bishop further explained that the church frowns at clerics involving in politics.

The statement read in parts, “The mother church does not allow her clerics to get involved in partizan politics on their own.”

“You are aware that my son, your brother and your priest has purchased the party forms to contest for the office of the governor of Benue State under the platform of the APC which is totally against our vacation.

“Therefore, to respond to the spiritual and pastoral needs of the church in the Catholic Diocese of Gboko, I have suspended him from the exercise of sacred ministry.

“This canonical suspension takes effect from the moment it is communicated to him and lasts until he ceases from contumacy.

However, in a swift response, the priest  said that the suspension was a normal practice of the church.

He recalled that the a former governor of the state, Rev Moses Adasu of blessed memory was also suspended when he ventured into politics.

According to a statement issued by his head of Media and Publicity, Kula Terso said that the governorship aspirant was only suspended  from celebrating public Eucharistic Masses.

The Benue APC frontline gubernatorial aspirant for 2023 general polls, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia, wishes to inform members, stakeholders and leaders of the APC family in Benue State that the suspension order pronounced on him by His Lordship, the Bishop of Gboko Catholic Diocese, William Avenya, is a normal practice of the church.

“He is implicitly officially freed to go on fully with his strides to rescue Benue from total collapse.

Recall that Rev. Fr. Moses Orshio Adasu of blessed memory who served as the second Executive Governor of Benue State went through the same process. His footprints are visible for all to see.

“He said that as stated clearly in the letter of suspension, he is only suspended from celebrating  from celebrating public Eucharistic Masses, but he remains a priest of the Catholic Church forever. After his tenure ends in public civil service he shall resume his public Masses and ministry.

“From the day I took the decision to answer the overwhelming calls of my people to contest the Governorship of Benue with the aim to rescue our people from the shackles of maladministration, I was fully aware of the sacrifice I was going to make.

“And am convinced that it is worth the cause I am fighting to serve the souls of Benue people and the State. I have a freer leverage to give more time to achieving this pursuit.

“I remain resolute and please don’t be anxious either because I am well prepared and focused. More importantly, I am more charged because I have seen the genuineness in the agitations for me to step in and help salvage the already sorry situation the state has found itself for sometime,” the statement read in parts.

The Rev. Fr called on all his supporters, fans and admirers to remain steadfast, continue to pray and work in order to actualize the ‘Alialization 2023 project’.

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