The Catholic Doicese of Gboko, in Benue State, has suspended one of its priests, Revd. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, from sacred ministry for getting involved in partisan politics.
The Diocese, in a letter signed by the Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Gboko and Apostolic Administrator Sede Vancante, Catholic Diocese of Katsina-Ala, Williams Avenya, said the suspension takes effect as soon as it is communicated to him.
The letter titled, “Suspension of Revd Fr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia From Sacred Ministry”, dated 20/05/2022 and addressed to all priests, religious and laity said that the suspension followed series of admonition to him Ex. can 1371,2° CIC.
According to the letter, “The Mother Church does not allow her clerics to get involved in partisan politics on their own ex can 285,3 CIC. You are aware that my son, your brother and your priest, has purchased the party forms to contest for the office of the governor of Benue state under the platform of the APC which is totally against our vacation.
“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 sacred ministry.
“This canonical suspension takes effect from the moment it is communicated to him and lasts until he ceases from contumacy. Be assured of my prayerful best wishes.”
In a response, Revd. Fr. Hyacinth Alia called for calm explaining that his suspension from public Masses is a normal practice of the church.
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Fr Alia in a statement signed by the Head of Media and Publicity, Alia 2023 Gubernatorial Organization, Kula Tersoo, said the letter only officially freed to go on fully with his aspiration to rescue Benue from total collapse.
The letter read in part, “The Benue APC frontline gubernatorial aspirant for 2023 general polls, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia, wishes to inform members, stakeholders and leaders of the APC family in BENUE state that the suspension order pronounced on him by His Lordship, the Bishop of Gboko Catholic Diocese, William Avenya, is a normal practice of the church.
“He is implicitly officially freed to go on fully with his strides to rescue Benue from total collapse.
“Recalled that Rev. Fr. Moses Orshio Adasu of blessed memory who served as the second Executive Governor of Benue state went through the same process.
He noted that as stated clearly in the letter of suspension, he is only suspended from celebrating public Eucharistic Masses, but he remains a priest of the Catholic Church forever and after his tenure ends in public civil service he shall resume his public Masses and ministry.
“From the day I took the decision to answer the overwhelming calls of my people to contest the Governorship of Benue with the aim to rescue our people from the shackles of maladministration, I was fully aware of the sacrifice I was going to make. And am convinced that it is worth the cause I am fighting to serve the souls of Benue people and the State. I have a freer leverage to give more time to achieving this pursuit.
“I remain resolute and please don’t be anxious either because I am well prepared and focused. More importantly, I am more charged because I have seen the genuineness in the agitations for me to step in and help salvage the already sorry situation the state has found itself for sometime.”
“As stated in the last paragraph of the suspension letter, I shall return to the public pulpit after I must have served out my mandate as the Governor of Benue state”.
Fr. Alia urged his teeming supporters, fans and admirers to remain steadfast and continue to pray and work harder to enable them actualize the Alialization 2023 project.