On 5th of May 2021 members of the Adoration Ministry Enugu violently vandalized the residence of the Catholic Bishop of Enugu. The secretariat complex and the Cathedral Church. Since this ugly incident took place, the Church in Enugu has continued to pray for unity and the progress of the work of evangelization in the diocese. In addition to this, the Director Chaplain of the Adoration Ministry, Fr. Camilus Ejike Mbaka, at the fraternal instruction of the Diocesan Bishop, took a period of one month to prayerfully reflect on the challenges that hinder the growth and the future of the Adoration Ministry.
Having done this, it is now proper and timely to define the diocesan directives and guidelines that shall regulate the pastoral care and administration of the Adoration Ministry from now forward. For the Roman Catholic Church is a universal institution (Lumen gemium no.13), with order and discipline enshrined in the Code of Canon law and in the particular laws of the particular Church (cf. Ap. Const. Sacrae disciplinae leges). It is a hierarchical Church (Lumen gentium, no. 18)., not any political organization. In this Church, the Pope has supreme, full, immediate and universal ordinary powers, (c. 331) and the Diocesan Bishop possesses the same authority in the particular diocese entrusted to him (Second Vat. Council, Christus Dominus, no.11). The Bishop has the obligation of fostering and safeguarding the unity of the faith and of upholding the discipline which is common to the whole Church (Lumen gentium no.23).
Hence, the provisions of c.756 & 2 make the Diocesan Bishop the moderator of the entire ministry of the word of God within the particular Church. Adoration, teaching and healing ministries, belonging to this category, whether directed by clerics or laypersons in Enugu Diocese permitted by the Diocesan Bishop, must remain Catholic in its life and teaching.
The Bishop of Enugu Diocese, as chief shepherd, has the responsibility to supervise and issue norms concerning all centres where the word of God is proclaimed (C. 775& 1). As the visible source and foundation of unity. he is to exercise vigilance so that abuses do not creep into ecclesiastical discipline especially in what pertains to the ministry of the word, the sacraments, sacramentals and worship of God (C.392&2).
Therefore, to safeguard the integrity of the Church and forestall future abuses in Adoration Ministry, and as necessary conditions for the existence of the Ministry, I hereby decree that henceforth:
1. Christ in the Blessed Sacrament must remain at the centre of worship and not personality cult.
2. Since Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life, the faithful must be taught to be truthful by word and example.
3. The use of dialogue and prayer, instead of violence, revenge or exchange of words, should be employed in the face of challenges and difficulties in the Adoration Ministry
4. The Adoration Ministry Enugu shall be administered and organized as a chaplaincy: Canonically, a chaplaincy is a special group of Christ’s faithful entrusted to a priest in a stable manner who is their chaplain in accordance with universal and particular law (c. 564), The Adoration Ministry Enugu is to be recognized as a chaplaincy in the Catholic Diocese of Enugu under the leadership of Rev. Fr. Camillus Ejike Mbaka. As a Catholic outfit of the Diocese of Enugu, it shall enjoy all the pastoral privileges of the Diocese of Enugu and is to be under the pastoral and managerial obligation of the same Diocese.
The Diocesan Bishop has the prerogative to appoint Chaplain and Assistant Chaplain to the Adoration Ministry Enugu or other such ministerial offices in the diocese to assist the chaplains oversee the pastoral activities of the Ministry. He (the chaplain) shall have all the rights and privileges given to him in universal and particular law.
5. The teaching of the Magisterium and knowledge of the Church structure should be central to the Catechesis of the Adoration Ministry. This means that the Chaplain and members of the Adoration Ministry must abide by the teaching and discipline of the Catholic Church as well as its ecclesiastical governance.
6. Administration of sacraments should be preceded by proper and documentation. The teaching of catechism must be made compulsory
7. The Diocesan Bishop shall go on Pastoral Visit from time to time to the Adoration Ministry as is the case with Parishes, in order to assess their spiritual growth.
8. No non-Catholic should play a liturgical role in the Ministry.
9. Effort must be made to nourish the spiritual and moral life of attendees and not just their mundane desires.
10. There shall be no partisan politics either by way of active engagement or by prophetic naming of candidates for positions of power. For in accordance with c. 287 & 2, priests are forbidden from taking part in any form of partisan politics. Likewise, “no one is permitted to harm illegitimately the good reputation which a person possesses nor to injure the right of any person to protect his or her own privacy” (c. 220).
BREAKING: Mbaka Loses full control of Adoration Ministry as Catholic church places new restriction on Priest
This is not the best time for the Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministries Enugu Nigeria (AMEN), Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka as the Catholic Church has placed more restriction on his activities and also removed the full control of the ministry from him.
The Catholic church said they have also banned the fiery Catholic priest from commenting on partisan politics in the country.
In a letter to Mbaka quoted by TheCable, Callistus Onaga, Catholic bishop of Enugu Diocese disclosed the conversion the adoration ministry to chaplaincy.
Unlike in the past where Mbaka solely oversees the activities of the ministry as its spiritual director, making it chaplaincy brings it under the control of the Enugu diocese and gives the Bishop the power to appoint a chaplain to oversee its operations.
Although the bishop said Mbaka still leads the chaplaincy, he added that he (Bishop) can appoint any ministerial officer “to assist the chaplains to oversee the pastoral activities of the ministry.”
The letter, which is dated June 3, contains the diocesan directives and guidelines for the conduct of the adoration ministry.
The directives were announced just as Mbaka is set to resume activities of the ministry which was suspended following his one-month private retreat.
The priest went on the retreat after the controversies that trailed his recent clash with the presidency.