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Catholic Church Suspends Rev. Father After Joining APC, Declaring For Benue Governorship

Catholic Church Suspends Rev. Father After Joining APC, Declaring For Benue Governorship

The Catholic Diocese of Gboko, Benue State, has announced the suspension of one of its reverend fathers, Hyacinth Jormen Alia, following reports that he had joined the 2023 governorship race in Benue State.

A copy of the suspension letter seen by THE WHISTLER and dated May 20, 2022, said Father Alia had been suspended from ‘Sacred Ministry’ after a “series of admonitions to him” to respect a rule of the Roman Catholic Church which bars all clerics from partisan politics.

Father Alia was reported to have registered as a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and picked the N50 million Benue governorship forms of the party.

While rolling out his seven-point agenda for the development of Benue in early May, the cleric had said that “Benue is broken enough and it’s time to fix it. I joined partisan politics to salvage the state from collapse,” adding that “Social justice will be adhered to, to the context of ‘One Benue, One Brotherhood”.

But in the letter addressed to all priests, religious leaders, and congregation, the Catholic Bishop of the Gboko Diocese, Willam Avenya, said Father Alia had been barred from public ministry until “he ceases from contumacy (stubborn refusal to obey or comply with authority)”.

The letter partly reads, “I write to communicate to you the suspension of my priest, Revd. Fr. Hyacinth Jormen ALIA, from public ministry after series of admonition to him Ex can. 1371,2 CIC.

“The Mother Church does not allow her clerics to get involved in partisan politics on their own Ex Can. 285, 3 CIC. 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 All Progressives Congress (APC), which is totally against our vocation.

“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.”

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