Pope appoints new administrator for Nigerian Catholic diocese that rejected his nominee

Some Nigerian Catholics who defied the Pope on the appointment of a new bishop have finally had their way.

On Monday, the Catholic Pontiff, Pope Francis, appointed an administrator for the Diocese of Ahiara in Imo State, following the resignation of its former Bishop, Peter Okpalaeke.

Mr. Okpalaeke resigned following a series of crisis that lingered for almost six years, with most members of the diocese rejecting Mr. Okpalaeke after his appointment in 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the members insisted on the rejection even when Pope Francis insisted they obey him as the bishop and that he would not be replaced.

In a statement on Monday from the Nigerian Catholic secretariat signed by its director of social communications, Chris Anyanwu, the church said the appointment of the new administrator is with immediate effect.

“Following the resignation of Most Rev Peter Okpalaeke as the Bishop of Ahaira Diocese, as a result of the crisis that has lingered for nearly six years in that diocese, His Holiness Pope Francis has today appointed Most Rev Lucius Ugorji, the Bishop of Umuahia as the Apostolic Administrator of Ahaira Diocese. This appointment is with immediate effect,” Mr. Anyanwu, a Catholic priest, said. ( Premium Times)

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