Papal disobedience

The Pope’s nomination and appointment of a Bishop for Mbaise Diocese of the church has been opposed and rejected by the 101 priests there since four years. It appears the priests in question do not want to recant on their stand after the Pontiff had given an ultimatum to stamp his authority in the matter.
The priests are meeting and re-strategizing to frustrate the Pope’s order for Bishop Peter Okpaleke to be accepted.
All the other instructions given by the Pontiff on the matter may be an overreaction of superior authority. What is lacking and needed in the resolution of the conflict on both sides is Christian forbearance and tolerance to see each other’s point of view with understanding and forgiveness.
The reason or excuse for the priests’ behavior is a flimsy one. It is untenable that every Bishop for Mbaise must come from there. (Bishop Okpaleke comes from Awka in Anambra state). This is an un-Godly and shameful demand in a place like the Church.
But the issue has far-reaching consequences. It is real decadence in the church that will be difficult to salvage if it catches like fire. Many of the faithful will learn by it the sin of disobedience and thus become irretrievable as backsliders.
The Roman-Catholic Church is the world’s most populous faith-based organization, which acknowledges the Pope as its leading and highest authority who must be obeyed. He is supposed to be infallible. The way the Pope is adored has spread to the Reverend Fathers down the line, hence the rare and uncommon discipline in the Catholic Church. The development in the Catholic Diocese of Mbaise is a challenge to this admirable, age-long tradition and is bound to be disturbing to all Christians everywhere. This is something the Catholic priests of Mbaise must consider and retrace their steps. They cannot re-write the code of the Church in this regard, if that is their aim, no matter how long and hard they try. Let  the strife and disobedience stop so far.

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