- Jan 18, 2020
“What is happening in Ahiara diocese is nothing short of a miracle,” one local priest said. “The problems of the past are gone for good.”
The new apostolic administrator of a troubled Nigerian diocese said on Saturday that it’s time to heal, but everyone still needs to remember that, ultimately, the pope is in charge.
In three out of four of his overseas trips in 2017, Francis had to measure his words and deeds very carefully, knowing that saying too much — or too little — could have been dangerous.
One Nigerian bishop has broken ranks, publicly calling on Pope Francis to rethink his decision to back Pope Benedict’s choice as the new bishop of a diocese from outside the dominant group.
In an extremely complicated dispute in the Nigerian Diocese of Ahaira, even a papal threat to suspend every last priest there doesn’t seem to have stopped the infighting over the controversial appointment of a new bishop five years ago. The two sides remain bitterly divided, accusing one another of being “satanic” and “corrupt,” and right now it’s not even clear the new bishop can set foot in the diocese.
Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, president of the Nigerian bishops’ conference, is urging priests in his country’s Ahaira diocese to accept a bishop appointed by Benedict XVI and confirmed by Francis, even though he comes from outside the diocese’s majority ethnic and linguistic group. While some priests say they’re ready to comply with whatever the pope decides, that doesn’t mean the underlying grievances are resolved.