The Catholic Church in Nigeria has excommunicated a priest, Rev. Patrick Edet, who recently quit priesthood and stripped him of all power, rights and privileges accruing to a leader of the Church.
It could be recalled that the popular priest, who served in the Catholic Diocese of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, had announced over a local radio station on August 2nd, that he was leaving the Catholic Church so he could be free to serve God the way he wanted.
Mr. Edet, who ran a Pentecostal-style fellowship that attracted a huge crowd in Uyo, said that leaving the Catholic Church has given him freedom to practice Christianity without interference.
He said, “You cannot know God beyond that box. You cannot express God beyond that box. And any attempt for you to go beyond that box brings you label. The reason I am doing this is that I want to be right with God first. I want to go to heaven when I die,”.
In a general notice issued to parishioners on August 12, the Catholic Bishop of Uyo Diocese, John Ayah, advised them to stay away from Mr. Edet.
The bishop said, “I advise that no Catholic member should approach him to obtain any service or guidance henceforth in the name of the Church,”.
“Any Catholic who attends his programme or identifies with him in any way does so at the risk of his or her Catholic faith and membership,”.
The Bishop said he was forwarding Mr. Edet’s resignation letter to Pope Francis for further directives on the matter.