We brought to you the second part of the open letter written by Prof. Amadi Azuogu, the Agu n’eche mba of Mbaise for your pleasurable reading…
Reactions to the document.
Reactions to this said Pope’s directive were swift. Among Umu Mbaise, there is unparalleled anger that the platform of the Church has been used to disparage and humiliate us as a nation. Hence, responses from Umu Mbaise range from Fr. Fidelis Agwulonu to Bongo Adi to Prof. Eddie Oparaoji to Luke Onyekakeyah of the Guardian Newspaper to Ted Onumaegbu to Fr. Richard Ekeoma, to a communiqué issued by the gallant sons and daughters of Umu Mbaise in the USA, to mention a few. And the protest rally of the Ahiara Diocesan laity in Mbaise on July 1, 2017 is the grand finale of the various protests. Notwithstanding what is attributed to the Pope, the reactions have one message: MBAISE WILL NEVER EVER ACCEPT BISHOP OKPALEKE. If the authors of that directive hoped for a swift installation of Bishop Okpaleke they have made it virtually impossible because Mbaise is now charged against such a move. A man who caused us to be raped publicly will never be our leader. Any attempt to impose him on us will be adding rape to rape. Mbaise will resist such a move. And such an attempt would leave Mbaise with no other choice than “CATHOLIC WITHOUT ROMAN.” This is not our intention. But we could be forced into it. Bishop Okpaleke has become a defecated substance and we can never take it back. The human rights of Mbaise have been thoroughly violated. And as a Nation we may seek redress in the United Nations human rights commission. As at July 4, 2017 Newspapers across the country are still commenting on the Agenzia Fides’ ultimatum, even though the Ahiara diocesan laity rally against Bishop Okpaleke dominated the headlines.
This published report in Agenzia Fides on the 9th of June, 2017 purporting to be a demand from the Pope that Mbaise should apologize to him is turning out to be the most obscure document of Vatican history. Besides, it is becoming a nightmare for the Vatican authorities, compounded by the sad events in Australia involving the influential George Cardinal Pell, the Prefect of the Economy in the Vatican, now indicted in the Australian courts for sexual impropriety against minors. The Agenzia document was produced to shame the Mbaise people, degrade them as much as is possible and humiliate them in the name of Pope Francis. The document is a calumny against the Mbaise people. This work seems to be the work of someone on a vendetta mission. One sees so much anger in it, not giving the slightest hint that it has anything factually to do with the Pope of Mercy. It seems to be representing the mindset of some people out to cut their own pound of flesh. The language is unlike Pope Francis, hence, we don’t have his signature on the document. The document makes “Pope Francis to be against Pope Francis” because it does not factually represent him and his message of mercy.
Apart from what is contained in the Agenzia Fides, the Pope has no signature on the report. In other words, he has not personally owned it, though he seems to have tolerated it. The document has no date, except the date of Agenzia Fides. So we do not know with incontrovertible precision when the document was written. This is uncharacteristic of papal documents. That the Pope has not embraced this document in any public way speaks volumes. Besides, NO VATICAN OFFICIAL HAS OFFICIALLY SENT ANY SIGNED COPY OF THIS DIRECTIVE to the Mbaise people. All that has been done is to copy the Agenzia Fides and senD to the Mbaise people. And now we ask: Is Agenzia Fides now the Pope or a substitute for the Pope? How is it that no one signed this document? This is a document with no authorship. The only source of authorship is from “he said, he said.” Hence, the Mbaise people are left with only a journalistic source and nothing from the Vatican up till this moment.
The first observation to made here is that this document is apparently made up of two primary sources, one using the imagery of murderous tenants and the other using Nigerianism revealed by the use of ‘abroad,’ typical of the Nigerian concept of “abroadians.”
Next, there is also a problem involving grammatical syntax which deals with the way words are used and arranged in a piece of writing. In the Agenzia Fides’ text, two moments are striking. The first is the use of the speaker in the first person “I.” And the literary evidence shows that wherever emphasis was not required, this pronoun was used. Now, the next striking syntax is the use of the third person, “the Pope.” The use of this phrase thrice in the text helps to raise further doubts on the authenticity of the Agenzia Fides’ speech. This phrase, “the Pope,” was used in the following phrases: The Pope cannot be indifferent; the Pope is deeply saddened and why must the Pope do this? We seem to have somebody possibly impersonating or acting like the Pope. Here, it seems that the writer forgot that he was writing as the Pope and now shifts from the first person to the third person. This looks like somebody other than the Pope writing. However, since the writer probably knew that the Pope would probably not sign it or even own it up personally he decided to add these phrases to give it papal authority and authorship. This is similar to African folklores, when we say: The tortoise said. And in our view, this document of Agenzia Fides has become “the tortoise said document.” Besides, the Pope Francis that we know does not really refer to himself as “the Pope.” The use of this appellative is too monarchical, representative of the mindset of Cardinals Filoni and Onaiyekan, whose idea of the episcopacy is deeply and intensely monarchical. This use, in our view, casts doubts on the papal authorship of the said directives.
A tale of two Archbishops
After the Agenzia Fides’ publication, which is Cardinal Filoni’s propaganda news outlet, the first sign of confusion came when Archbishop Obinna of Owerri Archdiocese published the document of June 8 from the Vatican website, which was mild, while Archbishop Onaiyekan of Abuja hilariously published the controversial one of June 9, WHICH HE CO-AUTHORED. This raised the red flag. Here, we have two Archbishops who attended the meeting in Rome but with different takes of the outcome. We began suspecting that there is something fishy about the whole thing. It suggested that Archbishop Obinna knows something that did not make him enthusiastic about publishing the “harsh version.” However, after one week, Archbishop Obinna later published the harsh one. Now, what caused the dilemma or delay? Likely, pressure was brought to bear on Obinna to publish that document as well. If Obinna clearly knew that the Pope issued the document of June 9 from Agenzia Fides, why did he dilly-dally before publishing it? As Shakespeare once said, something is rotten in the State of Denmark.
It is now time to make a comparative study of the Agenzia Fides’ ultimatum. Three documents will be key to this study.
- A) The letter of Cardinal Filoni to the Mbaise people on February 27, 2013 before Pope Francis was even elected, in which the Cardinal likened the Mbaise people to the “stupid Galatians”
B)The letter of Cardinal Filoni to the Mbaise people on June 29, 2014 in which apology was demanded from the priests of Ahiara Diocese.
C)The Letter of Cardinal Onaiyekan of July 25th 2014 in which a one month ultimatum was given to the Mbaise people.
These are all tendered in evidence for the world to see. The ultimate question will be: Who is scandalizing the world? Cardinals Filoni and Onaiyekan who are fabricating documents or Mbaise demanding justice from the Church? For the avoidance of doubt, Cardinal Filoni’s letter is reproduced here.
First Evidence: Cardinal Filoni’s Letter of February 27, 2013
In contrast to the Agenzia Fides’ ultimatum, this letter was duly signed and the author is clearly identifiable. Here, there is no doubt as to who was writing. And this letter can be referenced with reference to any website. Why then did nobody own the controversial directives of Agenzia Fides on June 9, 2017? Who is the Pope afraid of signing the directives? In the midst of the dubio or doubt surrounding the authorship of the Agenzia Fides’ document, why has he not spoken out to own it up? And how can future church history quote this document? If the Pope has refused to personally and publicly own it up, this is a sufficient indication that he did not write it.
Indeed, there is a lot of similarities between what Cardinals Filoni and Onaiyekan have written in the past and what the Agenzia Fides claims the Pope said on June 9, 2017. Let us do a comparative analysis beginning with the following texts below:
The reaction of some of the priests and faithful to the nomination of the new bishop has saddenedboth the Holy Father and myself.
Agenzia Fides 2017
For me, this meeting is a consolation because I am deeply saddenedby the events of the Church in Ahiara.
first of all it must be said that the Pope is deeply saddened.
The first observation to be made here is that this sounds very much like Fernando Cardinal Filoni, the Prefect of Propaganda Fide. The reason for making this assumption is that Cardinal Filoni has written a letter with a similar wording in 2013 as shown above. Here, we have similar words used in both documents, saddened. And now comes the next point of comparison which deals with the use of similar biblical texts shown in the table below.
Filoni: February 27, 2013
Have you not read what Saint Paul wrote to the Galatians, who became “stupid” because they reasoned not according to Christ, but according to human and ethniccategories that were completely different than what Saint Paul himself had taught them(Galatians 1:6; 3:1-3)?
Agenzia Fides June 9, 2017
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.
I think that, in this case, we are not dealing with tribalism, but with an attempted taking of the vineyard of the Lord.
These two texts are strikingly similar on two points following the highlighted texts. The first is similar biblical texts, with the “chastisement clause” – stupid Galatians, murderous tenants. The second is the ethnic dimension in the second highlighted texts with similar words, ethnic and tribalism. Hence, we are seemingly dealing with a common authorship of the two different texts. There are two possible explanations here. Either the Pope worked with the text of Filoni’s letter in 2013 or Filoni wrote this text. One thing to remember here is that Cardinal Filoni’s “stupid Galatians’ letter” was written on February 27, 2013, before even Pope Francis was elected. How is it that the Pope of Agenzia Fides magically memorized and used Filoni’s template here?
Second Evidence: Cardinal Filoni’s Letter to Mbaise on June 29, 2014
This is the first “apology letter” from the Cardinal. When it did not happen in 2014, he came back with the same recycled template in 2017 but now under a pseudonym or false name, that is, a borrowed name not the actual author’s name. Here, someone looking for the greatest effect for his work or letter uses a name of a great man as the authority behind the work. Examples abound in the Old Testament. Two examples here are the Book of Enoch and the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs. Many of the early Christian literature were fertile grounds for this kind of writing as well. For example, the Didascalia Apostolorumor the “The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles” is a perfect example. Now, it is time to present this evidence to the world in respect of Cardinal Filoni’s letter of 2014.
Filoni 2014 paragraph 4
We are now confronted with a most grave act of disobedience, which is now inflicting a wound on ecclesial communion! This letter is a cordial and clear invitation to and to reflect and to obey. It is now time to end this grave act of disobedience. I would therefore except (sic) an act of sincere and profound repentance, presented in the form of a letter from all of you, signed individually by each of you, asking the Holy Father for forgiveness. I know that Pope Francis is waiting for such a sign of affection.
Agenzia Fides June 8, 2017
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 letteraddressed to me in which he asks for forgiveness; all must write individually and personally. We all must share this common sorrow.
Once more, we see that both segments in the two documents bear striking resemblance. It is the same mindset and the same insistence. Did the Pope then plagiarize Cardinal Filoni? Why are they putting the Pope in this awkward position of plagiarizing his Cardinal Prefect, Filoni? Why this “copy, copy” in a Papal document? Does this not raise the question of intellectual honesty? If this is a problem in the secular world, where the moral bar is low, why would it not be an even greater moral problem in a place where “Caesar’s wife must be above reproach”? This is not looking good at all, especially after the almost daily denial by George Cardinal Pell of Australia that he never sexually abused anybody and now he is indicted and forced by the Vatican to go back to Australia and defend himself. The Vatican needs to move on the authenticity or non authenticity of the said directives before another scandal erupts. This thing stinks. Indeed, as Shakespeare once said, “something is rotten in the State of Denmark.” And this is the possible real scandal and not poor farmers and agrarian diocese demanding to be justice, crying that there is injustice meted out against them. Since when is it a crime to cry for justice in the Church or in our world? Only in a totalitarian regime like North Korea is this a crime. Or is the Church now competing with North Korea? Now, this comparative analysis continues:
Filoni 2014 paragraph 2
The almost ideological and prejudicial oppostion to the newly appointed Bishop of some priests, motivated also by individuals outside of the diocese, has absolutely NOcredible or justifiable motive.
Agenzia Fides 2017
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.
First of all here, the use of “abroad” in the Agenzia Fides’ document seems to have been inserted by a Nigerian proof reader, who added it to avoid any ambiguity in the ultimatum. It seems that it was not part of the original draft until this Nigerian editor added it. Here, in Nigeria, we talk of “home and abroad.” Ever since this document was released Cardinal Onaiyekan has been emphasizing this “home and abroad” in his writings. An example is quoted here for our worldwide readers:
Imagine if the Pope excommunicate them by July 9 it means no pastoral nor Apostolic work can be undertaken in that vast land full of Catholics the consequence may be if they refuse to pay due and supreme respect to the Pope and repent before July 9: 1 All the faculty of the priests may be withdrawn 2 no further Ordination whether priestly diaconate can take place in Mbaise. 3. no Religious profession or Renewal of vows for both Rev brothers and sisters, 4 All of their Student both home and abroad that undergoing formation will be. withdrawn 5 All their priests/ brothers and sisters on Mission whether Diocesan or Religious may be retreated back home 6 no further Admission for an Mbaise boy/girl who is a Catholic vying to go to the seminary or convent or any other catholic institution home and abroad and many are the consequences (Cardinal Archbishop of Abuja His Eminence Most Rev Dr John Olurufemi Cardinal Onaiyekan D.D. CON today during his exaltation to members of Abuja Archdiocesan Association of Sacred heart of Jesus and the immaculate heart of Mary during their yearly feasts anniversary).
The first thing we wish to point out here is the use of home and abroad. This is obvious Nigerianism. The “abroad” in the Agenzia Fides is possibly from Cardinal Onaiyekan. As we shall further demonstrate below, he has been very generous with his use of “abroad.” This was his own insertion in the text.
Next, the Cardinal has used wicked and demonic language to express what would happen after Jule 9, 2017. He was almost cataclysmic and apocalyptic. As we can see, this is the mindset that produced the document of Agenzia Fides. Here, we see a demonic spirit. The Cardinal has expressed his wish if he were in a position of unlimited powers like the Pope. Luckily and fortunately, he is not.
Filoni 2014 paragraph 7
Before concluding, I want to express a word of appreciation for His Eminence, Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja and Administrator of Ahiara Diocese. Our Holy Father Francis, personally wanting him to be Administrator of Ahiara in his name, notwithstanding his many other obligations, has asked me to openly manifest the Pope’s esteem and gratitude for his service in Ahiara, disapproving of those who have attempted to discredit him by writing and contestation.
Agenzia Fides June 8, 2017
To you brothers and sisters, I would like to express my sincere thanks for your presence; and also to Cardinal Onaiyekan for his patienceand to Bishop Okpaleke, whose patience and humility I admire. Thank you all.
Obviously, this similar conclusion and the various comparables above lead us to maintain that this is the work of Cardinal Filoni proofread by Cardinal Onyaikan. We have already detected Nigerianism which we shall later expand based on other texts from Cardinal Onaiyekan.
Third Evidence: The Editorial Fingerprint of Cardinal Onaiyekan in the Agenzia Fides
This evidence is taken from Cardinal Onaiyekan’s follow up letter to Cardinal Filoni’s apology request in 2014. The letter is Produced below.
The following is similar to Agenzia Fides:
Onaiyekan’s Addendum, July 25th2014
In particular, I passionately urge my brothers in the priesthood to seriously reflect on and humbly comply with what is expected of them as regards a personal individual letter of apology to the Holy Father. Such letters should be submitted to me, not later than August 25th, 2014, for safe delivery through the Papal Nuncio in Nigeria.
Agenzia Fides June 9, 2017
The letter must be sent within 30 days, from today to July 9th, 2017.
Again it is not difficult to see that Agenzia Fides is a conflation Cardinal Filoni, the owner of Agenzia Fides and Cardinal Onaiyekan begging for job in the Vatican. In this regard, we can see that the idea of ultimatum is from Cardinal Onaiyekan. This evidence is displayed as follows from his letter above:
- In 2014, the ultimatum was from July 25th to August 25th.
- In 2017, the ultimatum is from June 9th to July 9th.
The Pope is too clever to be just copying paradigms and templates. Both Cardinals Filoni and Onaiyekan are poor actors. They should have consulted the Nigerian film industry, Nollywood, for professional assistance before putting up this poor acting performance. In 2017, we have seen 2014 déjà vu – all over again. There is no doubt in my mind that there are two many similarities between 2014 and 2017 to make this document the work of the Pope. There is too much ‘copy-copy’ involved to have given it the papal dignity it deserved. It is wrong to make the Pope a copycat, or a plagiarist, WHICH HE IS NOT. Before this scandal blows wide open like that of George Cardinal Pell of Australia facing sexual abuse scandal in Australia, the Vatican must not protect the fat cats. In the case of Agenzia Fides, they have to act before journalists blow this wide open. Cardinal Pell was overprotected. He had this scandal hanging over his head before the Vatican made him the Prefect of Economy. They overprotected him, thereby allowing the storm to gather pace. Now, once more, the Vatican is terribly embarrassed.
Your Eminence, your persistent use of “home and abroad”show your obsession with Mbaise priests outside the country whom you wanted to use to divide Mbaise. Your belief was that including them would frighten them into submission since the alternative would be losing their jobs overseas. Hence, the emerging evidence continues to lead us to believe that the “abroad” in the Agenzia Fides was your editorial insertion and it was done intentionally. Let us show you the evidence in support of our thesis.
First of all, as soon as the Agenzia Fides’ message was released, on June 15th 2017, in your letter titled: “The Verdict of the Pope on the Ahiara Diocese Crisis,” you wrote as follows: “My dear brothers, I have been praying for the Diocese of Ahiara and especially for her priests, at home and abroad. I am aware that it is not easy to change the position that most of you have taken on the issue on ground since over four years. But know too that it was not easy for the Pope to arrive at the “harsh” decision he has taken in your regard, with a “saddened heart.” Interestingly, you judged the Pope to be harsh when your fingerprint is on that document. And now we can see your “abroad” in the Agenzia Fides. This Nigerianism is seemingly from you. And there are other places suggesting that we have caught your hand in the cookie jar.
This is seen in this message, captioned: Message to Priests of Ahiara Diocese, in which you wrote as follows: “I am also attaching again a copy of the “Agenzia Fides” publication on the same issue. You will recall that I had already sent this to you in a previous mail last week. Kindly make sure that this is brought to the knowledge of all the priests both at home and abroad, through your usual channels of communication and information. In particular, kindly forward same to Rev. Fr. Austin Bernardine Ekechukwu, President of the “Association of Diocesan Priests” of the Catholic Diocese of Ahiara Mbaise, for his special attention and that of the other members of his executive.” The first thing to be noted here is that the whole world should note that the Pope NEVER SENT ANY MESSAGE TO US TO INDICATE HIS AUTHORSHIP OF THE SAID MESSAGE. All that was sent to us is the Agenzia Fides’ text, which was a great insult to Mbaise as if we have no access to the internet or could not pull a text from the internet. If the Pope wrote, WHERE IS THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENT? You know that you are so untrustworthy that we cannot take you by your word. It is not enough for you to tell us that the Pope wrote it. Anyway, we have also seen your repeated use of “abroad” in your writing to show that you know about the “abroad” in the Agenzia Fides.
Finally, in aN email sent on Saturday, June 24, 2017, titled: Follow-up Message to Priests of Ahiara,” among other things you wrote: “Kindly endeavour to bring this follow-up message to as many of your priests as possible, both at home and abroad.” You can now see that your persistent use of “home and abroad” in all your writings relating to this mystery is evidence of your latent fingerprint on the document. This persistent use of home and abroad pins you to the abroad in the Agenzia Fides’ ultimatum.
NB: THIS LETTER REPRESENTS THE OPINION OF THE WRITER AND NOT THAT OF focusonabuja.info.