The Catholic Diocese of Gboko in Benue state has suspended Reverend Father Hycainth Alia for expressing his intention to run for governor of Benue state. Alia, who is running for governor under the banner of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), will face off against 11 other candidates for the party's governorship ticket.
The letter reads, "I write to communicate to you the suspension of my priest, Rev Fr. Hyacinth Iornem Alia from public ministry after a series of admonitions to him. “The mother church does not allow her clerics to get involved in partisan politics on their own Ex can 285, 3 CIC. You’re aware that my son, your brother, and your priest have purchased the party’s form to contest for the office of the governor of Benue State under the All Progressives Congress which is usually against our vocation."
“Therefore, to respond to the spiritual and pastoral needs of the church in the Catholic Diocese of Gboko, I have suspended him from the exercise of the sacred ministry. This canonical suspension takes effect from the moment it is communicated to him and lasts until he ceases from contumacy.”
Kula Tersoo, the suspended priest's spokeswoman, acknowledged the church's decision to suspend his boss, claiming that it was a standard church practice. He did point out, however, that his boss is still a priest and was merely barred from celebrating public Eucharistic masses.
Tersoo also stated that if his boss wins and completes his term in office, he will return to his job and oversee the public and ministry. He also mentioned the state's former governor, Moses Orshio Adasu (a Catholic), who went through the same thing during his tenure.©Standard Gazette, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s publisher is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Standard Gazette with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.