The Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos has directed Rev. Father James Anelu, the Priest-in-Charge of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Ewu-Owa, Ikorodu, Lagos state to proceed on an indefinite leave of absence following the reported incidents at his church on Sunday, 6th February, 2022.
In a letter signed by Alfred Adewale Martins, the Archbishop of Lagos, the church’s decision was to “give opportunity for a thorough investigation of all the matters relating to his ministry in the parish”. The leave of absence takes effect from Tuesday, 8th February, 2022 till further notice.
The priest was accused in the letter of “making completely unacceptable comments about Igbo songs being sung in the church and unsavoury remarks that do not represent the Catholic church’s position on common brotherhood of peoples of all tribes and religions”.
There was outrage when the story first broke of how the Parish Priest of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Ewu-Owa Gberigbe in Ikorodu, Lagos state, Rev. Fr. James Anelu had banned Igbo songs and choruses in his Church.
The Priest who reportedly angrily stopped a soul lifting chorus during the second collection said the Igbos cannot keep dominating other people even in his Church.
He cited the case of his Benin Diocese where Igbos dominated to the point of becoming the Bishop in the person of Akubueze.
Rev. Fr. James Anelu said that the spirit of God in any place recognises only languages indigenous to that geographical location.
On saying this, the entire congregation went up in tumultuous uproar, leading to abrupt dismissal as people massively walked out of the Mass.”