The Catholic Dioceses of Lagos has reinstated Reverend Father James Anelu who was suspended for banning Igbo songs in his Parish , Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Ewu Owa.
Anelu’s reinstatement was announced on Wednesday in a statement by the Director of Social Communications, Lagos Archdiocese, Rev. Fr. Anthony Godonu.
TheFact Nigeria recalled that on February 7, the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Alfred Martins, in a “disclaimer”, had directed Fr. Anelu to proceed on “an indefinite leave of absence” after banning Igbo songs and choruses in his parish, arguing that the excesses of Ndigbo must be contained.
It was gathered that the cleric angrily stopped a soul-lifting chorus during the second collection, saying that the Igbos cannot keep dominating other people in his Catholic parish.
However, the Catholic Church said the priest was recalled following a thorough investigation by the church.
According to the statement, “The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins, has recalled Rev. Fr. James ANELU, the Parish priest of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Ewu Owa from the indefinite administrative leave to which he was sent on Feb. 7th 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,”he said.