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Bishop’s Val’s Day letter to Ahiara faithful … ‘I resigned for your sake’

Embattled Catholic Bishop of Ahiara Diocese who resigned on Monday has stated that it was out of his love for the good of all the faithful of the Diocese.
The Bishop, whose letter was dated February 14, which is observed as Valentine’s Day and which coincided with Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the year’s Lenten season in Christendom, called on those who opposed his appointment to repent.
“I wish also to use this moment of grace to invite those who remained in permanent opposition to have an authentic Sensus Ecclesiae (staying with the church in love), to renew the spiritual bond and to refrain from being guided by ideologies, motivations and ideas that neither belong to Christ nor to the church”, he stated.
Bishop Okpaleke stated that considering his running battle with the clergy, remain the bishop of Ahiara Diocese was no longer beneficial to the church and that his apostolate in the diocese where some of the priests and lay faithful are ill disposed to have him in their midst would not be effective.
“Therefore, for the good of the church and the Catholic Diocese of Ahiara in particular, I humbly requested the Holy Father to accept my resignation from the office of the Bishop of Ahiara Diocese”, he stated.
According to him, his resignation would  facilitate re-evangelization of the faithful and “must importantly and urgently, the priests of Ahiara Diocese, especially now that the Holy Father and his collaborators in the Rome Curia can already decipher priests who affirmed their loyalty to the Holy Father and those who decided to bow out of the Catholic Church in disobedience”.
Bishop Okpaleke, who was appointed Bishop of Ahiara Diocese in 2012 by retired Pope Benedict XVI, was rejected by the clergy in the diocese who claimed that the appointment was not canonically right.
Pope Francis, however, received his resignation and appointment Bishop Lucius Ugorji of the Diocese of Umuahia as the administrator of the Ahiara Diocese pending the election of another bishop for the diocese.

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