Category: News

Nigerian Priests Abducted On Christmas Eve Attributes Prayers To Their Release. 

Nigerian Priests Abducted On Christmas Eve Attributes Prayers To Their Release. 

A Nigerian priest who was kidnapped on Christmas Eve recalled his experience after Mass this week, saying prayer is what saved him.

Father Cajetan Apeh, a recently ordained priest assigned to St. Theresa’s Parish in Anam, was kidnapped along with the church’s pastor on Dec. 24. The two priests were ambushed while returning from gathering supplies in preparation for the visit of Cardinal Francis Arinze on Christmas Day.

According to Vanguard Nigeria, Apeh described the four-day ordeal to the congregation after Mass on January 1, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. The Mass took place at St. Joseph’s Church in Enugu Ezike, Enugu State Nigeria. 

Apeh said the priests, who initially thought it to be robbery, were abducted by four Fulani herdsmen with AK 47s and left to survive with very little food and water.

“After searching and taking all our possessions, including some loafs of bread, they led us into the bush where two of us were given half a loaf of the wheat bread they took from us for four days before our release to our superior, who drove from Enugu to Anam on the instruction of the herdsmen,” he said, according to Vanguard Nigeria.

He said they were not permitted to talk and we were given only one sachet of water to share per day, and were not provided with adequate clothing to keep warm in the bitter cold.

By December 26, Apeh said, the health condition of the parish pastor had worsened. Because the herdsmen would not let him take necessary medication, his blood pressure was high and he was feeling weak.

Apeh said the kidnappers had tried to hold the priests for ransom and were communicating with their superiors.

“They asked us our bank account numbers and we told them that we had no personal bank accounts, that everything belonged to the church. They asked if I was married, I said no, because I am a Catholic priest.”

Several authorities in Anambra, including the Police Mobile Force and Federal Special Anti-robbery Squad, had been involved with a massive search for the priests. As a result of the joint operations, the abductors were forced to release the two men on Dec. 27. Abeh said prayer was a major factor in their release, Vanguard Nigeria reported.

Due to your prayers and those of others throughout the world, we were released to our superior who travelled to Anam from Enugu, unaccompanied by any policeman or security agent.”

Fake Catholic Priest Exposed After 18 Years. 

Fake Catholic Priest Exposed After 18 Years. 

A man who pretended to be a Catholic priest for more than 18 years has been dismissed by the Catholic Church in Spain.

Miguel Angel Ibarra carried out weddings and baptisms, first in Colombia and then in southern Spain, despite having never been ordained.

Those ceremonies will still be recognised, the Church says, but not his communions or the confessions he heard.

He was found to be an impostor after a complaint was filed in Colombia.

The complainant alleged Mr Ibarra had forged his documents.

After a “thorough investigation”, it was found that he had never been ordained and he has now been ordered to return to Colombia, Church officials say. 

Mr Ibarra moved to Spain last October, settling in the town of Medina-Sidonia, which is home to more than 11,000 people.

Events like this could overshadow the work of parishioners and ordained priests, who serve the Church every day in an exemplary way,” the local diocese said in a statement.

This is not the first time someone has been caught in the act of pretending to be a Catholic priest.

In 2008, a man who had not been ordained was found to be hearing confessions in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.

He was wearing clerical robes, but was later unmasked as a fake priest after his documents were checked by the Italian authorities.

85 Year Old Florida Woman Refuses To Remove Guadalupe Painting, Tells Authorities: ‘You Have To Kill Me First’!

85 Year Old Florida Woman Refuses To Remove Guadalupe Painting, Tells Authorities: ‘You Have To Kill Me First’!

Millie Francis almost died once. She’s willing to do it again. This time, she says, it would be for Our Lady of Guadalupe. 

The 85 year-old Florida woman reportedly says the lawyers representing her trailer park will “have to kill me first” before she lets them remove an illustration of the Virgin Mary that’s painted on the side of her mobile home.

Millie Francis painted an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe – one of Mary’s many Catholic titles and the patroness of Mexico – on a piece of plywood on the front of her mobile home in the Bradenton Tropical Palms trailer park.

The property manager for Vanguard Property Management demanded Francis remove the painting – to which she responded, “They’ll have to kill me first,” the Bradenton Herald reported.

You’re not going to tell this old lady what to do,” Francis told the newspaper. “This is America. As long as I have two arms and two legs, I’m going to do it.”

The illustration of Mary is on a piece of plywood placed where Francis’ front window used to be. She said the window was removed in April – with permission from the park – after Francis had persistent issues with security personnel shining flashlights into her home late at night.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do in that space,” Francis said. “I was at church during Mass just before communion. To be honest, I wasn’t concentrating much on mass because I was preoccupied with ‘What am I going to do with this board?’ I said, ‘Please dear Lord, help me decide on what I want to do.’”

She added: “I don’t want to say I had a vision or anything like that, but I felt enlightened and received the inspiration from our Lady of Guadalupe to paint her image. So I promised that I would.”

Francis claims it was only when the painting was finished in late October that she was told to remove it.

Janet Nowakowski, the property manager for Vanguard Property Management, told the Herald that Francis did not get permission for the painting through the park’s architectural review committee, though Francis did get permission to remove the window.

She said Francis had been given until Oct. 31 to complete the window replacement but the project wasn’t completed by then and it was requested Francis remove the piece of plywood.

Nowakowski said, per park rules, Francis must resubmit her project to the architectural review committee for approval or remove the painting.

That’s where we stand,” she told the newspaper last month. “She exceeded the time she was given to complete it and it has to go back before the committee. She has not submitted that request.”

Attorneys for the park sent Francis a letter Nov. 9 saying she had 30 days to remove the painting or face a lawsuit.

With the deadline fast approaching, Francis has remained defiant, telling the Bradenton Herald on Tuesday her painting is “not going anywhere.”

The 85-year-old claims she is being discriminated against because of her Catholic faith and says her neighbors have various decorations on their homes that they have not been asked to remove.

If I have to go to court, then I have to go,” she said. “I don’t know what to do. I can’t take this anymore but I can’t see it coming down. It’s not hurting anyone. They don’t have to look at it if they don’t like it so I don’t understand why they are against me, but it’s going to stay.”

Family Inheritance: Archbishop Carlo Vigano Addresses Dispute with Brother

Family Inheritance: Archbishop Carlo Vigano Addresses Dispute with Brother

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has sought to clarify a court ruling in October which ordered him to pay nearly €2 million of inheritance plus legal fees to his brother, a priest living in Chicago.

In a Dec. 3 statement issued through his lawyers said he had “already willingly paid” the amount to his brother, Father Lorenzo Viganò, and would not be appealing the decision. Archbishop Viganò’s lawyers said he was issuing the statement “In light of the recent unfounded news that appeared in multiple newspapers and other media outlets, regarding an alleged conviction for “fraud,” “theft” or misappropriation of funds, to the detriment of his brother.”

According to media reports, the inheritance has been a cause of contention in their relationship for years, and Father Viganò, a biblical scholar who has lived in Chicago since 2008, has tried to sue over the bequest numerous times. The October ruling was the first time he had succeeded in being rewarded any money.

Archbishop Viganò, who remains in hiding after publishing his testimony against Vatican corruption in August, said in the statement that his brother has been subjecting him to a “judicial siege and a veritable defamation campaign in the press” for over a decade, adding that the priest failed to inform “obliging journalists that the accusations” made against Archbishop Viganò had been “abandoned or dismissed in the 10 civil, criminal, and administrative cases attempted to date.”

Both brothers, two of six siblings, jointly held and administered their family’s substantial assets worth €20 million plus a cash sum of more than €6 million until Father Viganò left for the United States a decade ago.

The legacy was bequeathed to them by their parents who were “entrepreneurs in the industrial field,” according to today’s statement. The statement went on to disclose that Father Vigano had made an “initial request” for €40 million which was a “grossly unrealistic figure in respect to the actual value of the entire joint ownership of property of the two brothers.”

It added that the Milan court ruling rejected this along with “all the other requests” from Father Viganò, and stated that as a result of the judgment, Father Viganò received “essentially what he would have received had he accepted the settlement proposals made by his brother, pro bono pacis [a concession made solely for the sake of peace], in the course of the proceedings.”

The statement also revealed that Archbishop Viganò had allocated most of the inheritance to “works of charity and religion” which include a seminary in Nigeria and a Carmelite monastery in Burundi, “and will continue to do so.”

Father Viganò, who began legal proceedings against his brother in 2010 and, according to today’s statement, has “refused any mediation from the family,” suffered a stroke in 1996 and is confined to a wheelchair.

He has lived in Chicago allegedly without ecclesiastical permission and, according to documentation obtained by the Register, he (or others acting in his name) has refused to respond to repeated attempts by Church officials to communicate with him.

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