Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Pope threatens to fire Nigerian priests
Francis met June 8 at the Vatican with a delegation from the Ahiara diocese, where priests have been refusing to accept Peter Ebere Okpaleke, appointed the local bishop in 2012 by the then pontiff, Benedict XVI.
Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, reporting the pope’s unusually harsh order, said Sunday that Francis was acting “for the good of the people of God” by threatening to suspend the priests from the ministry if they did not pledge in a letter, by July 9, “total obedience” to Francis and accept Peter Okpaleke’s appointment.
Francis told the visiting delegation he was “very sad” about the priests’ refusal to obey and ruled out tribal loyalties.