At least 400 Christians of Ediofe Parish in Arua Diocese have been suspended from Church activities for suing Arua Diocese for defaulting to pay ground rent.
The Christians, hailing from three clans of Oluvu, Komite and Andruvu and all members of St. Bakhita Chapel under Ediofe Parish, took Arua Diocese Board of Trustees to Arua High Court for failing to pay for the 99-year lease for the land on which the Cathedral and Diocesan Offices sits on since 1920.
TND News correspondent understands that the Italian Catholic Mission signed a lease agreement for 99-years land and committed to pay 40 Shillings per year until 1932 when it was to be revised in agreement with the landlords.
In a notice to the Vatican-based Italian Catholic Mission, the Committee of the three clans said that the Church has never paid any penny for the land.
They added that the Church is busy undertaking extensions and expansion project without the consent of the landlords.
The Committee further revealed that the three communities who are the habitual owners of the land are being kept in the dark as the 99 years’ lease is expiring by January 2019. They now demand that the lease is terminated or renewed after full agreement with them.
A one Alibino, the chairman of the three clans, the members and their families who signed the letter were blacklisted by the Parish Priest of Ediofe Cathedral Monsignor Casto Adeti.
“We have been stopped from enjoying all Sacraments, all Pastoral agents have been barred from entering our homes for any Religious functions whether for joy or sorrow and our Catechist William Amandu has been suspended from work for entering one of the banished family homes where he had gone to burry a child,” Chairman of the three banned clans said.
The barred group represented by 20 leaders revealed that they were told to find another religious denomination away from the Catholic Church.
Monsignor Casto Adeti admitted to the suspension of the 400 Christians from any Church activities adding that the complainants are just a few people that are being misled by some selfish people living on the Church land.
He says after duly being advised by the Parish pastoral council of Ediofe, he had to dismiss the people involved and their families. He, however, adds that the Church doors remain open for those who ask for forgiveness.
Arua High Court has set July 5, 2018 for hearing the case.