By Dan Ugwu.
The lingering issues and controversies between Rev. Fr. Magnus Ebere, codenamed E De Work and the Catholic Church is gradually becoming age long. Where the differences will culminate is still in the womb of time. At intervals, echoes and cacophony from E De Work ‘Church’ become sources of worry for the actual Church because of existing discrepancies in liturgy and mode of worship.
While the Catholic Church has remained orthodox, Fr Magnus Church has largely been Liberal with interdenominational prints. At the base of this controversy is the difficulty either in identifying E De Work as an incorporation of its own or a subsidiary with the Catholic Church as the parent company.
The latest element of this mischief and banter is the recent hard knock and sledgehammer issued by the Archbishop of Onitsha, Valerian Okeke to further disassociate his Archdiocese from the activities of the wonder priest. I do not want to open another route of logic to this because Onitsha Archdiocese is also a nursery ground for Catholic healing merchandise, a trade starring firebrands like Fr. Ebube Muonso and Fr. Òku na Ere Ere. The rest here is for tomorow.
However, the archbishop’s letter is one among many as the various letters written in reference to Fr Magnus is enough to form a Newer Testament. Those of us who were at Obokwu Obizi Mbaise on the first day E De Work berthed, we winked our eyes northwards, knowing that the charade will grow into a cancer in the body of the Church. From Nnobi bypass in Nnewi, to Obizi, down to Umuoma Onitsha, today, the ministry is not just a cancer, it has become a threatening disease to the life of the Catholic Church.
Who is to blame? Fr Magnus blame is clear, but a huge part of the blame hovers over the surface of the Church. The lack of administrative skill and native intelligence in stamping action on the makeshift and quasi Church led to its proliferation. The cleric was pampered to grow the current teeth with which he bites the Church today.
From Ahiara Diocese to provincial structure, NOTHING practically was done to tame the excesses of the group. There is no doubt that if Bishop Victor Chikwe was to be alive today, this ministry would not have seen light. But today, the ministry has built both human and social structures.
Socially, high rising buildings, land ownership, investments have been built. On human formation, the ministry can boast of a battery of empty Christians whose sensibilities have been mortgaged. So, how does the Church think the priest will abandon these structures to fall back to normalcy?
To be blunt, two things are involved. The Church and well-meaning Christians should persuade the cleric to officially leave the Catholic Church and situate himself properly or the Church should dust up to intensify her struggle with the splinter group.
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