Considering the news that went viral on newspaper publications and social media over the proscription of Canaanland Adoration Ministries by the Apostolic Administrator to Mbaise Diocese, His Lordship Most Rev. Dr. Lucius Ugorji on the 28th of November, 2019 as an ardent follower of Canaanland Adoration Ministries, I am writing to respond to certain allegations, assertions, false claims levied against Rev. Fr. Magnus Ebere over the statement issuance by the office of the Episcopal Vicar for the laity on December 5, 2019.
Before I move on to my responses over the false accusations levied against Rev. Fr. Magnus Ebere, SDV, I humbly wish to clarify all that the news which went viral about the proscription of Canaanland Adoration Ministry by the Apostolic Administrator of Mbaise Catholic Diocese is a case of misplaced priority. Because the Ministry has no existence in Mbaise nation for it is now global. What Rev. Fr. Magnus Ebere, SDV runs inMbaise is a Counseling Centre; for Counseling Services only which is approved by Corporate Affairs Commission.
Your statement infers that, Rev Fr Magnus Ebere SDV is NOT an incardinated priest of Ahiara Diocese even though he hails from a community in Ahiara Diocese called Obokwu Obizi. He does not enjoy the rights and privileges of an incardinated priest of Ahiara Diocese.”
In response: Rev Fr. Magnus Ebere was posted as an associate Parish Priest of St. Peter’s Parish, Isiala Oparanadim, Ahiazu Mbaise. So, saying that he does not enjoy the right and privilege of an incardinated priests, is a false claim.
Moving on, your statement sighted that sometime in the early 2015, that Rev Fr Magnus Ebere SDV approached his home parish priest; the late Rev Fr Jude Onyegbule of St Benedict’s Parish, UdonaObizi, and requested to be allowed to intervene in a communal crisis in his village of Obokwu Obizi.
In response: From investigations and testimonies from people there was never a communal crisis as of that time till date in Obokwu Obizi.
Also, your statement inferred that Ndinwegbu community leaders responded by petitioning the Apostolic Administrator, Most Rev L.I. Ugorji, alleging that Fr Magnus Ebere SDV was threatening their residency in their village as he planned to drive them out and resettle their entire village in another place so as to forcefully take Nwaehishianya over their communal lands for his ever-expanding ministry.
I now ask, is Fr. Magnus Ebere, SDV Government that uses power of eminent domain to drive people away from their lands and acquire them compulsorily? Your false claim on him is dead on arrival; for there is no object to treat.
Your Statement further stated that on March 13, 2019, FrEbere SDV lied to the Apostolic Administrator when he claimed that the Centre was for counseling and not for masses and other ministrations.
In response: Rev. Fr. Magnus Ebere, SDV feedback to the Apostolic Administrator is never a lie. He has been carrying out his counseling services in line with one of his counseling Centre’s mandate which is turning people’s sorrow into joy through the word of hope. Also, he responded that the masses which he celebrate are for the upliftment of the catholicfaithfuls who come to his gruopcounseling services. He never disputed that.
Going further, you stated that the Panel discovered that human wastes, feaces, urines and refuse of all sorts were disposed in the open places and bushes around the community thereby exposing the community to potential outbreak of dangerous diseases.
Response: the Centre ground, facilities to curb such excess have been provided and are still being provided for people to make use of. Fr. Ebere is someone that believes that the right should be done always.
Under your liturgical Aberrations and Abuses claims:
Number one statement stated that Fr. Ebere celebrates Holy Mass at Canaanland Adoration Ministry Centre lasts from around 9.00 a.m. on Wednesdays to around 5 or 6 p.m. in the evening of the same day.
I respond to you that his masses last just for an hour while other Counseling Centre’s activities and programmes proceed.
Number two stated that People are not testifying to what has already taken place but to what they wish and pray for to take place. They are urged to believe to have received them already in order for them to claim them.
Our testimonies are genuine with proven facts and not as presumed. It’s because of the testimonies and solutions to many people’s problems recorded that stand as motivating factors that our God is still working through the lives of His devoted children like of Rev. Fr. Magnus Ebere, SDV.
Number three stated that Fr Magnus Ebere SDV hardly uses the Catholic Church’s prescribed lectionary for his liturgical activities.
Every mass which I’ve witnessed Rev. Fr. Magnus Ebere celebrated, he used catholic lectionary.
Number four stated “According to testimonies received by the Panel, Holy Communion during masses at Canaanland Adoration Ministry activities is not restricted to Catholics only. FrEbere SDV keeps mum about who is qualified to receive the Holy Communion at the Centre thereby leaving the door open for non-Catholics to sacrilegiously participate in the Eucharistic communion.”
In response: Before the reception of the Holy Communion, announcement is always being made to the hearing of everyone that the reception of the Holy Communion is meant for the only baptized and practicing Catholics who are in the state of grace as it is being carried out in every Catholic Church. So, Fr. Ebere is exonerated of your claim that he keeps mum about who is qualified to receive the Holy Communion at the centre.
Under Abuse of the Sacraments claims:
Statement read “On April 21, 2018, Rev Fr Magnus Ebere SDV and his collaborator, Rev Fr Peter Ohaegbuchi SDV of St Peter’s Parish, Isiala Oparanadim gathered 116 couples from the two ecclesiastical provinces of Igbo land, namely Owerri and Onitsha and claimed to have witnessed to their weddings at St Peter’s Parish Isiala Oparanadim without following the canonical procedures for admitting couples to this sacrament.
Response: For the salvation of souls, administration of sacrament of matrimony is being carried out enmasse by various parishes in the catholic Church annually precisely for individuals cohabitating already with regards to aged people, those financially incapable to solely handle the activities that goes with wedding just like St Peter’s Parish, IsialaOparanadim, AhiazuMbaise. The process has been in place before Fr. Ebere due to his priestly responsibility to the parish and his benevolence style moved to take it up as a point of duty and as a concerned Catholic in sponsoring the aforementioned number of couples involved by providing the necessary things for the wedding. It’s worthy to note also that the wedding was not officiated by Fr. Ebere.
Abuse of the Pulpit Claims:
Your statement read that FrEbere SDV frequently rains down curses on his perceived opponents. Very often he announces during his talks that certain individuals will die within a certain period of time for going against his will.
In Rev .Fr. Magnus Ebere SDV’s ideology and philosophy of life, he doesn’t believe in creating enmity with anybody. He preaches and practices love. Every word he utters on the pulpit is biblical. To what you tagged: frequently rains down curses on his perceived opponents, is your misunderstanding.
Let me clarify you with some of these bible verses for you to understand that he’s not out of place with pronouncements he makes on the pulpit:
“He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made, His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate” (Psalm 7:15-16)
“Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein, and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him” (Proverbs 26:2).
“He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breakethan hedge, a serpent shall bite him” (Ecclesiastes 10: 8).
“Let the wicked fall into their own nets whilst that I withal escape” (141:10).
The above bible verses, Fr. Ebere reference them most times while he prays during counseling activities and pogrammes. So, you proscribing that he rains curses on his perceived opponents, is a big lie against God who he references on the pulpit.
Abuse of the Sacramentals Claims:
Your statement stated “Every one of his sacramental he invests with mystical powers of healings and blessings. During his liturgical activities, there are countless testimonies praising the miraculous powers of his sacramentals. Some of his sacramentals he claims could serve as bullet proofs, powers that ward off evil spirits, cure incurable diseases etc.
In response to that, our catholic faith makes us believe that once an item like rosary, medals, anointing oil etc. is being blessed by a catholic ordained priest, it carries the power of undoing any demonic influence in the lives of believers. The healing power of Sacramentals is also written in the book of Act of Apostles 19: 12, “So that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cursed and the evil spirits left them.” As an ordained Catholic Priest and one in whom God blessed with a special grace, as you stated above, how can you alleged that the anointing oil, bangles and other blessed sacramentals by your fellow priest have mystical powers? With your statement, you’re indirectly telling the whole world that we the catholic faithful are using mystical powers. And of which I can never believe you because I know the Catholic Church which I belong to.
Abuse of Prayers Claims:
Your statement stated that Rev Fr Magnus Ebere SDV is in the habit of ascribing divine powers to himself. He teaches people that he could pray for them and they receive what they desire from God; that he teaches people that he could pray for them and they receive what they desire from God; receive what he usually describes as double or triple portions of material things or money; He teaches that he sees visions, performs miracles, prophesizes.
In response to that, let me take you to the book of Acts of the Apostles 2:15-18, which says, “For those are not drunk, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams . And on My manservant and on My maid-servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy.” Also, in the book of Mathew 10:6-8 reminds us of the power Jesus gave to His disciples to heal the sick as read, “But go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead and cast out devil.” With the above bible verses, how then can a Catholic priest who I assumed that passed through the rigorous process of theology raise such assertions against his fellow priest who God called for a special work in His vine yard? It is quite embarrassing. Fr. Ebere has discovered himself in Christ Jesus. In his own part, he is fulfilling the Prophesy of Prophet Joel which says that in the last days people will prophesy, see visions and dream dreams nothing more.
Fraudulent Claim of a Papal Mandate:
Your statement read that Rev Fr Magnus Ebere SDV often tells his followers that his authority came directly from the Holy Father Pope Francis.
In response to that, Fr. Ebere has never been fraudulent and publicly uttered that the authority of his operation came from the Holy Father. Rather, as one who always listens to the Papal’s message most times makes it as a point of reference in many of his talks. In quoting Pope Francis, he references often the Pope’s general speech to the audience after his election to the Papacy in 2013 as he urged Catholics to leave their comfort zone to search for lost sheep. He further references the Holy Father’s speech to the catholic “we must not be contented o remain in the enclosure of the 99 sheep; we have to step outside, to search for the lost sheep,“ which also referring to one of his Counseling Centre’s mission, and Jesus’ parable of the lost sheep.
He believes in the Pope’s view of the Catholic Priests and the faithful to leave their comfort zones and go out there and win lost souls back to God. And with that believe, as a catholic faithful and as an ordained catholic priest, he has rise up to that call of the Holy Father. Due to his proactive response to this call by living his comfort zone and in search for the lost souls, some catholic faithful and priests has misconstrued him. They labels it that FrEbere misleads his followers by telling them that he owes no allegiance to any human authority; that he often tells his followers that the authority of his operation came directly from the Holy Father Pope Francis. Notwithstanding, when a person’s speech is misunderstood, the interpretation or reporting of it accurately is inevitable. So, let just assume that they misunderstood him when he was quoting the Holy Father. But it’s quite appalling that the writer, whom I assumed is learned, could misunderstand Fr. Ebere’s direct statement to another thing.
Fr Magnus Ebere’s over-inflated Ego Claim:
Your Statement read that Fr. Magnus Ebere, SDV is saying that he is the richest priest in Mbaise, that he claims that he would never be poor again in his life, that he will be the first priest to own a helicopter or an aircraft in Mbaise, that he moves about in a tinted and siren-equipped Hillux Van that is usually preceded by a security vehicle and some others.
In response: From your reasoning by quoting most of his statements, it clearly shows that you don’t really know the personality of Fr. Ebere, SDV. Fr. Eere has not said such and if at all he will say such he will never use Mbaise as his limit; And that also indicates and exposed the falsehoods behind your Statements about him. Rev. fr.Ebere Magnus, SDV is a teacher, life coach, an Optimistic person, a motivator and a source of inspiration to many youths. He uses most of such statements in motivating and inspiring God’s people most especially the youths that come for his counseling services.
And from all indication of your statements, to the conscience of us the readers it portrays envy, jealousy, insecurity and personal vendetta against the priest.
Your statement read that Fr. Ebere SDV is setting up Canaanland A dorational Ministry in a manner of an independent Church; that he has his CWO organization called the Destiny Women; also that they usually wear the E-Dey Work uniforms for their activities. He also has the Men’s group, the Youth Group etc. also that FrEbere SDV does everything at Canaanland Adoration Ministry Centre which a normal parish does even though it is very far from being canonically erected as a parish or a chaplaincy.
In response: Your statement about the aforementioned groups (our women, men and youths) is a blatant lie. It is totally far off from your apparent allegation; that it is the same as in Parishes and chaplaincy. These groups were formed in regard to his counseling centre’s vision of raising great women, men and youths that will become embodiments of solution providers in the world through different soul uplifting activities and programs which he initiate for them.
Untruthfulness, Disrespectfulness and Disobedience Claims:
Your statement also read that the activities of Fr Magnus Ebere SDV and his Canaanland Adoration Ministry in Ahiara Diocese are marked by three dangerous words, namely, Untruthfulness, Disrespectfulness and Disobedience.
In response: of what sort can your assertions be factually classified as Fr. Ebere’s Untruthfulness, Disrespectfulness and Disobedience? Going all through your statements and of which I have responded to most of them, from all indications, it shows that the panel set by the Apostolic Administrator enquire about the legalities of Fr. Ebere’s activities in your diocese with their findings and of which your write-up is subjected to, with all this inclination of character assassination to his person, it vehemently means that the diocese have the hidden agenda of indicting him. Never- the-less, it is a norm in the Ahiara Diocese of using all possible machineries in stopping any rising priest with a special grace.
In conclusion of my response to all the irrelevant long statement to directly indict your fellow priest, has clearly shown us the perception of one filled with rage against the Grace in this young priest because of his achievement so far thus exposing the unnecessary strife, politics, acrimony, envy, pride, jealousy exhibited by the priest as a result of feeling insecure and unable to measure up to standard. What more can be scandalous that the priest in which am certain the writer is fully involved marched out carrying empty coffin with the inscription of Bishop Okpalake on it. Is such not an act of been dangerously disrespectful, disobedient and untruthful to the Holy Father? Then have you considered the demeaning lifestyle of immoral acts portrayed by some priest scandalous, which other heinous deceit can be compared to such low standard shameful character to the flock. It is also worthy of note to be acquainted that some homilies by priests have become so boring or a means of storytelling, or criticisms thus driving the congregation away from the church. Rather than this antagonistic statement Fr Magnus Ebere SDV should be acknowledged for his help in bringing back the scattered flock, as a result the crowd seen is not just because of Mass nor Adoration but of the counseling word which builds their faith the more and also provide answers to their challenges.
We are Praying to God to help all our Priest and appeal that Priest should build more love in supporting each other rather than inciting unnecessary Envy and hatred against each other. Our appeal to Fr Magnus Ebere SDV is to focus more on the mandate and vision of Canaanland Counseling Centre. All this while, we appreciate his silence towards all those false accusation against him. It shows maturity of the highest order of him. We also urge him to forgive as our Lord Jesus Christ forgave all those that accused and persecuted Him. For Jesus forgave them on the ground that they don’t know what they are doing. And we appeal to suIch priests like (Rev. Fr. David Iheanacho) the writer of such uncharitable lengthy false accusation to use their time to pray and plan on how to live good life than wasting their time in n their fellow priests.
Since you’re here …
… we have a small favour to ask. More people are readingNigerian Catholic Reporter than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. Nigerian Catholic Reporter’s independent, engagement journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because of our strong desire to use this platform to redirect the warped thinking of perceived citizens of God’s kingdom towards biblical injunctions and God’s desired culture for His people.
If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as N500, you can support Nigerian Catholic Reporter.
Support Nigerian Catholic Reporter:
All payments to be made to:
ECONOMIC NEWS ASSOCIATES LTD
(Publishers of Nigerian Catholic Reporter)
Bank: United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc
Account No: 1020298037