Catholic church pardons priest suspended for banning Igbo songs

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Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Martins, has pardoned Rev. Father James Anelu, who was suspended for allegedly banning Igbo songs in his parish.

The Director of Social Communications, Lagos Archdiocese, Rev. Fr. Anthony Godonu, made this known in a statement on Wednesday.

He added that investigation by the church showed that the information posted on the social media that brought about the disciplinary action did not give a complete picture of the incident.

He said, “The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins, has recalled Rev. Father James Anelu, the parish priest of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Ewu Owa, from the indefinite administrative leave to which he was sent on February 7, 2022.

“Fr. Anelu proceeded on the leave following allegations that he banned the singing of Igbo songs in the parish.

“Following a thorough investigation conducted in consultation with the Parish Pastoral Council, the Parish Laity Council and ad hoc committee set up by the Archbishop, it was discovered that the posting on the social media that brought about the administrative leave did not give a complete picture of the incident.

“Fr. James has therefore been asked to return to the parish in order to remedy the situation created by the social media posting and bring about reconciliation and unity in the parish.

“In the spirit of the Lenten season, he urged all the parishioners to work together in collaboration with the parish priest for the greater glory of God and the good of the community.

He also called upon all God’s children to remember Fr. Anelu and his parishioners in their prayers.”

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