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Catholic Church suspends Lagos priest for banning Igbo choruses in his parish

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The Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos has suspended a priest of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Rev. Fr. James Anelu, for banning Igbo songs and choruses in his parish.

This was made know in a disclaimer released by the Archibishop of Lagos, Alfred Adewale Martins, yesterday, where the priest was directed to proceed on “an indefinite leave of absence”.

Part of the disclaimer reads, “It has been brought to our notice that Rev. Fr. James Anelu, the Priest-in-Charge of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Ewu-Owa, Ikorodu, made some completely unacceptable comments about Igbo songs being sung in the Church and unsavory remarks that do no represent the Catholic Church’s position on common brotherhood of people 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 arising from his ministry in the parish. The leave of absence takes effect from Tuesday, 8th February, 2022 till further notice.”

The Archbishop’s Secretary, Revd Fr. Paul Ariole, told Ripples Nigeria, in a phone conversation that the suspended priest was reported to have lashed at the Ndigbo for their songs, accusing them of dominating his Catholic parish.

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“The deed has been done and necessary action taken. Everything is in the public. I am not in the best position to tell you what the comments look like or speak on behalf of the Archibishop. The disclaimer has been published and thorough investigation on the matter continues”.

Another member, who pleaded anonymity, said that only the Archibishop of Lagos has the right to tell the public the nature of the comments attributed to the suspended priest.

“It was reported that the priest did ban Igbo songs and disallow the display of the Ndigbo culture in his parish as reflected in their songs. The disclaimer contains all the public needs to know about the incident”.

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