Rev. Fr. James Anelu, the Parish Priest of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Ewu-Owa Gberigbe in Ikorodu, Lagos, has been “suspended” for prohibiting Igbo songs and choruses in his church.
Fr. Anelu was ordered to take “an indefinite leave of absence” in a statement issued by the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, cited by AGNUS-DEI MEDIA
The priest was said to have outlawed Igbo music and choruses in his parish, claiming that Ndigbo excesses must be reined down.
The Lagos Archdiocese under the tutelage of Most Rev. Martin Adewale, on the other hand, slammed the priest’s remark as “totally inappropriate,” adding that Rev. Fr Anelu’s “unsavoury” remarks “doesn’t represent the Catholic Church’s view on common brotherhood of people of different tribes and religion.
He (Fr. Anelu) “has been asked to proceed on an indefinite leave of absence to give an opportunity for a thorough investigation of all matters relating to his ministry in the parish.”
The leave of absence will begin on Tuesday, February 8th, 2022.
According to local media, In an unusual move, Fr. Anelu banned Igbo songs and choruses in his parish, claiming that Ndigbo excesses must be contained.
During the second collection, the priest furiously interrupted a soul-lifting song, stating that Igbos cannot continue to dominate others, even in his church.
He gave the example of his Benin Diocese, where Igbos had dominated to the extent of becoming the bishop in the person of Most Rev. Augustine Akubueze, and added that the spirit of God only recognizes languages native to that geographical location.
The members of the church were incensed by this ignoble speech from a claimed ordained priest, and the entire congregation erupted in a raucous uproar, staged a mass walkout.
Below is the Archdiocese of Lagos’ official reaction