An empty church
The Catholic Bishop of Makurdi Diocese, Most Rev. Wilfred Anagbe, has suspended all pastoral activities at St. Peter’s Parish, Low-Level, in Makurdi, following desecration of the Holy Eucharist and the looting of sacred vessels in the Church.
Rev. Fr. James Utav, the Diocesan Deputy Director of Communication, confirmed the development on Tuesday, in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
According to him, the Bishop, while reading the decree sanctioning the suspension of pastoral activities, said the Parish would henceforth be closed from the celebration of Holy Mass and all other activities in line with Canon 1211.
“The suspension, which took effect on September 15, 2020 followed two sacrilegious attacks on the Parish on 12 August and 13 September by yet-to-be-identified persons.
“The decree sanctioning the suspension states that the Parish will be closed from celebration of the Holy Mass and all other pastoral activities in line with Canon 1211 with effect from today, 15 September, 2020 until further notice,” he explained.
He quoted the Bishop as revealing that the Chapel of Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the main Church building were broken into, during the attacks.
“The sacred specie of the Most Holy Eucharist was desecrated and sacred vessels looted thereby defiling the Church.
“The closure is to enable us to adequately prepare for penance required by law in order to repair the injury this profanation has done to the sacred body of Christ.
“Pastoral activities shall resume only after a proportional satisfaction is made with regards to this sacrilege and we are also fully guaranteed of a better security outfit and structure for the parish in accordance with canonical requirements.
“When that is done, the entire worshipping community of this Parish, among other things, must perform a novena of reparation to be concluded with a rite of atonement in line with diocesan liturgical norms,” he further quoted the Bishop as saying.