Pope Francis met on Thursday with a delegation from a Nigerian diocese which for the last four and a half years has refused to recognize the bishop who was appointed as its shepherd.
He demanded that the clerics of the Diocese of Ahiara accept the bishop appointment that has been made, or face suspension and loss of office.
Fr. Peter Okpaleke was appointed Bishop of Ahiara in December 2012 by Benedict XVI. But the Ahiara diocese is dominated by the Mbaise ethnic group. As an outsider from the nearby Diocese of Awka, Fr. Okpaleke was rejected by much of Ahiara’s clergy and laity, who wanted one of their own to be appointed bishop over them. Continue reading