- A Catholic priest has been sent on an indefinite leave of absence by the leadership of the church over some discriminatory remarks
- The priest was said to have banned the use of Igbo songs and choruses in any of the church's activities at the Holy Trinity Church, Ewu-Owa Gberigbe in Ikorodu, Lagos state
- Reverend Father James Anelu was said to have argued that the Igbo people tend to dominate the church everywhere you find them and as such must be contained
The Catholic Church has suspended Reverend Father James Anelu, the parish priest of Holy Trinity Church, Ewu-Owa Gberigbe in Ikorodu, Lagos state.
The Punch reports that Rev. Fr. Anelu was suspended by the church leadership for banning Igbo songs and choruses in his parish.
In a disclaimer, the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Alfred Martins, directed Rev. Fr. Anelu to proceed on "an indefinite leave of absence'.
The catholic priest was said to have allegedly argued that the excesses of the Igbo people must be contained as a reason for his banning of Igbo songs and choruses.
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It was gathered that Anelu had also stopped a soul-lifting chorus during a second collection angrily.
A case of domineering Igbo people
He also argued that the Igbo people cannot continue to dominate other people in his parish with their songs, choruses and other activities.
Sources said Anelu cited a case in his Benin Diocese where Igbos dominated the activities of the church to the extent of securing a seat as Bishop of the diocese.
He reportedly claimed that the spirit of God recognises only the geographical languages of the parish.
However, in a letter dated February 7, Archbishop of the Lagos diocese, Martins said Anelu it has come to the notice of the church that Anelu made some completely unacceptable comments about Igbo songs being sung in the Church.
Martins said that the unsavoury remarks by Rev. Fr. Anelu 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."
The Archbishop further urged all Catholic faithful to continue to hold on to their faith in God while worshipping the Almighty as one big and happy family that cannot be separated by race, language or culture.
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