Bishop Peter Okpaleke has been rejected for many years by the priests of his Ahiara diocese of the Mbaise region.

Pope Benedict XVI had appointed Okpaleke to Ahiara in 2012, but the local clergy rejected him.

Ahiara is a very Catholic diocese of the Mbaise region, and its faithful objected to the appointment of an ‘outsider’ from the Anambra region being imposed on them. The Mbaise had wanted one of their own and blocked access to the cathedral when Okpaleke was to be formally installed.

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However, six months after his appointment, Okpaleke was installed outside the diocese, setting a battle between him and his priests.

Despite a hash warning from the Pope in June 2017 that the priests could lose their jobs if they don’t accept Okpaleke as their bishop, they insisted on their position and the 30-day ultimatum elapsed.

The bishop could take it no longer and he tendered his resignation to the Pope.

On Monday, the Vatican announced that Okpaleke was resigning and that Pope Francis had named Monsignor Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji as Ahiara's temporary administrator.

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