This open letter was written by Prof. AMADI-AZUOGU
The Agụ Na-Eche Mba of Mbaise and exclusively obtained by www.focusonabuja.info
To: His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria
- Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, President CBCN
- The Catholic Bishops of Nigeria
- Cardinal Parolin
- Cardinal Filoni
- Archbishop Filipazzi, The Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria (Copied to his old Nunciature)
- Catholic Secretariat, Abuja (C/O Fr. Ralph Madu)
- Unspecified recipients
Oh Cardinal Onaiyekan: The Rape of a Nation
Cardinal Onaiyekan: You are a co-authour of the Pope’s Directives
Rather than accept Okpaleke we will choose to become Catholic without Roman
Imposing Okpaleke as the Bishop of Ahiara Diocese is to impose Schism and Anarchy because Mbaise will never accept him for disrobing us
Abstract: Punish them, Punish them!
We want everyone across the globe to know that there are no doctrinal issues involved in this struggle for justice by the Mbaise people, the place of AHIARA DIOCESE, for which Agenzia Fides released the harshest statement ever against the rural diocese of Ahiara on June 9, 2017. There are no moral issues. And there is no dogmatic challenge. To the contrary Ahiara Diocese is the home of Catholic orthodoxy. No one is singing a discordant doctrinal tone. If we are punished, we would have been punished for none of these, but for demanding justice in the church of the Holy God. And if there is schism as a result, it would have been that the people demanding justice were given injustice and they refused to submit to injustice. Schism is real, because we will not be forced to eat our “shit,” or lick our spit. Rather than eat our “shit,” we will prefer to be Catholic without Roman. It is our hope that the Church is not pushing us to re-echo those words of the Northern Kingdom of Israel “to your tents oh Israel” (1kings 12:15). We cannot be forced to watch our nation disrobed and raped in full public view and be expected to just say “thank you” to the rapists, who have violated us. Schism looms. We are in total and unflinching solidarity with the priests of the Ahiara Presbyterium. To punish one priest is to punish the whole of Mbaise. We will never accept selective punishment. Together we shall fall, and together we shall rise.
Your Eminence, (19 months to your retirement as Archbishop of Abuja – January 29, 2019)
HOW DID THE NAME OKPALEKE FLY INTO THE TERNUS OF AHIARA DIOCESE?
This is the mago mago that cheated Ahiara Diocese.
You have gone nuclear, applying the nuclear option and thereby putting the Church on the threshold of schism. At last, you have deployed your most potent weapon of war, like the heartless General you are. You have demonstrated your wickedness in every thinkable way by forcefully ripping off our clothes for the whole world to see our nakedness. You have humiliated us. You have raped and raped and raped our Mbaise nation. You have desecrated our land. You have defiled us. You have de-virgined us. You have unleashed your “shock and awe” on the Mbaise nation. You have skinned us alive in full view of the world. Since June 9, everything was done with unmatched propaganda to rattle and destabilize us. The calculation was to put us in disarray like a powerful army caught up in a surprise ambush. This is a classic Trojan horse tactic. The initial wave of attack was intended to disable and cripple us in order to make us an ineffective force. But Mbaise has survived, to your dismay, because we remain the “Rock of Gibraltar.”Read our lips: YOU WILL NEVER DEFEAT US. The alternative to defeat is SCHISM. You have been going around telling people that we will not do it. Our own shock and awe is coming. You want to systematically destroy us as a people. But YOU WILL NEVER SUCCEED. No matter whatever you do, as this work will show, your fingerprint has been found on that controversial Agenzia Fides’ publication of June 9, 2017 purported to have come from the Pope. The world will soon know why?
You have chastised us publicly and castigated us worldwide, with your henchman, Fernando Cardinal Filoni, a co-author of that ‘Pope’s speech,’ as our evidence will later show. You have decided to rape the Mbaise people at gun point and demanding obedience at gun point. But rape can never be justified under any circumstance. You have defecated on us. And it is too stinky. You have embarked on maximum humiliation of the Mbaise people, all in God’s name. This is demonic. You have spit on our face. You have embarked on a worldwide campaign of calumny against the Mbaise people throughout the world. You have shamed us to your maximum capacity. You have disgraced us in the world just to impose injustice on the nation of Mbaise. You have desecrated our land. You have de-virgined us, asking us: WHAT CAN YOU DO? “Chai, uwa nkea sef, nwa ogbenye enweghi onu okwu” – oh, this world, the poor has no voice. Really, you have disrobed us before the whole world because you have neither shame nor conscience. You have made every effort to make us dance naked in the market place as a way of cutting your pound of flesh from the Mbaise people. You have procured your sticks to give Mbaise the beating of their lives. But you are a monumental disaster in your handling of the Mbaise affairs. In this way, you are threading on the pathway of schism in the Church. You have told everyone who has ears to hear that we cannot do it. But we are putting you on notice that schism looms very large. Rather than accept Okpaleke we will choose to become Catholic without Roman. You have tarnished the image of Mbaise. But God will soon vindicate us.
Indeed, as Edward Murrow pointed out, “to be persuasive, we must be believable; to be believable, we must be credible; to be credible, we must be truthful.” Your Eminence, these are essential ingredients missing in our dealings with you because you have not been credible and you have not worked to be credible. In this regard, as Giorgio Napolitano once said “it takes a lot of effort to win back credibility after having lost it so heavily.”Hence, the first order of business in your dealings with the Mbaise people should have been to establish credibility and integrity bearing in mind, as Richard Cobden once said, “for every credibility gap there is a gullibility gap.” Of course, when this situation of gullibility exists people begin to fear that you are going to dupe them. So, they begin to distrust you and to be wary of you. Your Eminence, your problem is the problem of credibility. You have been a “419” Cardinal to the Mbaise Nation. You are so untrustworthy because you lack credibility. And some of your fellow bishops have also said that you cannot be trusted. And one bishop in particular said that you tell lies like a joke and laugh over it. A good commendation?Accordingly, we have repeatedly told you that you cannot be trusted. The Mbaise people do not trust you.. Trust has always been the baggage you have been carrying. Stop wasting your time thinking that we will ever listen to you because YOU CANNOT BE TRUSTED. You have told repeated lies against us making us to wonder whether this is in your DNA.
For you, the injustice against the Mbaise people is nothing but ethnic revolt. But when an Mbaise son was rejected in the North to be their bishop it was not ethnic problem. When the people of Oyo diocese rejected the then bishop Okogie as their bishop it was not ethnic problem. When the people of Enugu diocese rejected Bishop Obiefuna as their bishop it was not ethnic problem. But when Mbaise cried foul that it is not right for Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province to be manipulating every Episcopal appointment in their favor then this is tagged ethnic problem.
The Trip to the Vatican
You tried to deceive us that there is convocation in Rome. And when we did not go and you did not achieve your aim, you renamed it pilgrimage. What a wonderful somersault! You can see that your cleverness is hollow. And by the way, many people have been asking me whether priests from Nigeria don’t know about oral hygiene, that they have protruding teeth, perhaps in reference to one of the teeth-protruding priest you took to the Vatican for your jamboree and picnic. That teeth protrusion was weird. And another asked: Are these ugly-looking faces representative sample of your priests and religious? You took vulture looking faces as priests from Ahiara Diocese and a kwashiorkor looking strange woman as a religious from Ahiara Diocese, even though she is not from Mbaise. Haba, Your Eminence! Were those ugly faces the best and finest among the priests from Ahiara Diocese. There you go again! You had five rotten eggs and you were asked to bring five eggs, you simply presented the five rotten ones because “nemo dat quad non habet,” no one gives what one does not have. Hence, you carried human vultures to the Vatican. Maybe, the officials there got so scared and decided to dismiss your delegation prematurely, without the patience to wait and hand over the canonical possession to you.
And people were also asking whether that man kneeling down was a mass server, and I told them that he was Bishop Okpaleke. And one person responded: What a pathetic creature. And it was worth asking him whether he forgot his make-up on that day, knowing that he bleaches a lot, which leaves his face sometimes patchy, like Michael Jackson. Perhaps, he wants to be his reincarnation. And even Archbishop Obinna was so unrecognizable prompting people to ask: Is he that sick? Hmmm, what if? Anyway, you can see that you did not go with a winning team because facial appearance is also part of winning a public image. On this point, you lost woefully because you ignored the true Umu Mbaise, the beauty of the sun. Instead, went with a bunch of sick people almost needing sickbeds to travel.
Putting you on Notice
In this satellite age, you can run but you cannot hide. Our intelligence satellite has been picking a lot of information constantly beamed into our war room. In this regard, you have apparently been going around trying to sniff out how Mbaise delivers her letters. What are you trying to accomplish? Are you planning something sinister? A hijack of Mbaise letters? Na wah for you!
Also you have been making desperate attempts to recruit the police, telling them to give you policemen to install Okpaleke because the Pope in the figment of your mind, not Pope Francis, has spoken. This is your usual attempt to tell lies to get what you want. Not this time.
And also you have been summoning Umu Mbaise, lobbying them to persuade Mbaise to accept Okpaleke, only then would you ordain our deacons. Your Eminence, are you OK? Mbaise is one and undivided. Even those you think are working with you are umu Mbaise. In the end, Mbaise wu otu, Mbaise is one. Stop your desperate attempt to use force to come to Mbaise. The police can never give Okpaleke canonical possession. And the man for whose sake we have become an international pariah CAN NEVER BE THE BISHOP OF AHIARA DIOCESE. Whether the Pope imposes Okpaleke or not, HE WILL NEVER BE THE BISHOP OF AHIARA DIOCESE. Indeed, disagreement is not disobedience. To disagree with an unjust appointment is not to be disobedient. You have galvanized the Mbaise Nation. We are as united as ever.
There is an ensuing moral debacle in today’s Catholicism. A father has five children and one of them is complaining to the father that he is being cheated by one of the sons. The best the father did was to instruct the one cheating to find out whether the one complaining of cheating is actually cheated or not. In other words, you tell the culprit to investigate. And even in the political order, you do not tell a judge accused of impropriety to investigate his or her impropriety. The moral problem surrounding the Mbaise case is that they have cried injustice, injustice. The Vatican has never sent any independent investigative emissary to come and find out what happened. If the Vatican had done this, it would have had the factual basis for making a determination. Hence, now, the one complaining of injustice must write apology, while the ones cheating are praised and extolled. Are we rewriting the moral books now? The reason for this is that the Vatican sent the cheaters to investigate their own crimes. This is a moral problem and a bad moral example. Neither Cardinal Filoni, nor Cardinal Onaiyekan, nor Cardinal Arinze is competent to adjudicate in the Ahiara case. But they have been the ones calling the shots. The same failed actors are now allowed to drive the Church into a ditch.
Racism in Play
We have charged that there is racism involved in this Okpaleke crisis in Mbaise. Could the Vatican in reality have treated any German or American or any other European diocese in this way? No way! How may many cartons of apology did the German diocese of Limburg write for literally chasing away their bishop to which Pope Francis concurred? Common! If this is not racism, what is it? There are four cardinals, among others, opposing the Pope’s exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia. These cardinals are Raymond Leo Burke, an American; two Germans – Walter Brandmuller and Joachim Meisner; and the Italian Carlo Caffarra. If these cardinals were Africans, they would have been called names and ostracized. They would have been told to apologize to the Pope. In 2013, in response to a letter from Ahiara Diocese to Cardinal Filoni, he replied as follows: “It is not true that there is a search for a new bishop for Makeni. That bad example is not one that should be either cited or followed, and I am amazed that that reference is even made to it!” Something is troubling here. Cardinal Filoni blatantly denied this but later confirmed it by appointing a bishop for Makeni Diocese in Sierra Leone. And why was he able to find a bishop for Makeni? Because the priest he found is an ITALIANmissionary working in the diocese. In other words, the Makeni solution was found because there was a European found to be made a bishop. Since Mbaise has no Italian or European missionaries working in Ahiara Diocese, a solution could not be found. If this is not racism, what is it? We have cited two examples since the Mbaise situation involving European solutions. What is different from the situation in Ahiara Diocese that was not the same with Makeni diocese? The Church should not be seen as supporting injustice against one side. This public humiliation of the oppressed people in Mbaise demanding for justice in the Church is counterproductive. And the humiliation has brought us no closer to accepting the imposition of injustice in the form of Bishop Okpaleke. Indeed, Cardinal Filoni, YOU ARE A RACIST.
Pope’s Purported Ultimatum in Agenzia Fides in Exegetical Analysis
Your Eminence, it is now time to focus attention on your ‘nuclear bomb’ that has sent radioactive waves around the world. In this document of Agenzia Fides of June 9, 2017, purported to have been issued by the Pope, every thinkable effort was made to destroy the Mbaise people. This is even worst than rape. Indeed, the document is so malicious that even the Pope has come under fire for trying to kill a fly with a sledgehammer which calls his “mercy credentials” into question. The unfortunate reality of this document is that ‘Mercy’ was on vacation the day it was written. And anyone reading it critically does not see the real Pope Francis, loved by the Mbaise people. Instead, what is seen is a “vendetta mission” carried out against the Mbaise Nation in the name of the Pope of mercy, who concluded the Extraordinary Year of Jubilee last year and maintained that the door of mercy is never closed. In view of this, doubts began almost immediately to be cast on this document as to whether Pope Francis actually wrote it or not. Since this purported speech is on the newspapers across the world, let us reproduce it here for a more critical reading.
I cordially greet the delegation and thank you for coming from Nigeria in a spirit of pilgrimage. For me, this meeting is a consolation because I am deeply saddened by the events of the Church in Ahiara.
In fact, the Church (and excuse the wording) is like a widow for having prevented the Bishop from coming to the Diocese. Many times I have thought about the parable of the murderous tenants, of which the Gospel speaks (cf. Mt 21:33-44), that want to grasp the inheritance. In this current situation the Diocese of Ahiara is without the bridegroom, has lost her fertility and cannot bear fruit. Whoever was opposed to Bishop Okpaleke taking possession of the Diocese wants to destroy the Church. This is forbidden; perhaps he does not realize it, but the Church is suffering as well as the People of God within her. The Pope cannot be indifferent.
I know very well the events that have been dragging on for years and I am thankful for the attitude of great patience of the Bishop, indeed the holy patience demonstrated by him. I listened and reflected much, even about the possibility of suppressing the Diocese, but then I thought that the Church is a mother and cannot abandon her many children. I feel great sorrow for those priests who are being manipulated even from abroad and from outside the Diocese.
I think that, in this case, we are not dealing with tribalism, but with an attempted taking of the vineyard of the Lord. The Church is a mother and whoever offends her commits a mortal sin, it’s very serious. However, I decided not to suppress the Diocese. Instead, I wish to give some indications that are to be communicated to all: first of all it must be said that the Popeis deeply saddened. Therefore, I ask that every priest or ecclesiastic incardinated in the Diocese of Ahiara, whether he resides there or works elsewhere, even abroad, write a letter addressed to me in which he asks for forgiveness; all must write individually and personally. We all must share this common sorrow. In the letter
- one must clearly manifest total obedience to the Pope, and
2. whoever writes must be willing to accept the Bishop whom the Pope sends and has appointed.
3. The letter must be sent within 30 days, from today to July 9th, 2017. Whoever does not do this will be ipso factosuspended a divinis and will lose his current office.
This seems very hard, but why must the Pope do this? Because the people of God are scandalized. Jesus reminds us that whoever causes scandal must suffer the consequences. Maybe someone has been manipulated without having full awareness of the wound inflicted upon the ecclesial communion.
To you brothers and sisters, I would like to express my sincere thanks for your presence; and also to Cardinal Onaiyekan for his patience and to Bishop Okpaleke, whose patience and humility I admire. Thank you all. …..TO BE CONTINUED