54 year old Reverend Father Peter Zuni of the Queen of Apostles Catholic Church, Kakuri parish, Kaduna State, was recently disrobed and sacked by the Archbishop of the Kaduna Archdiocese, Bishop Ndagoso Manoso (pictured above) after his secret wife stormed the church to disclose her secret relationship with the Catholic priest.
The news came as a shock to the church because according to the doctrine of the Catholic Church, only unmarried men are ordained into the priesthood as they are obligated to swear to an oath of celibacy and observe perfect and perpetual service for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.
This, it is believed, would enable the priests to easily remain close to Christ with an undivided heart, and dedicate themselves more freely to the service of God and the congregation.
According to The Sun, one of the wives is already late while the surviving one who blew the whistle about three weeks ago over the secret marriage is said to be nursing a child for the embattled priest.
Speaking on the development, the Archbishop of Kaduna Catholic Diocese, Bishop Ndagoso Manoso said Father Zuni’s second wife had approached him in his office with a baby and claimed Zuni was the father of her child. After due investigation by his office, it was confirmed that the priest was her secret husband.
“It is very unfortunate that this thing had to happen in my diocese. It is not an easy thing for me; if I tell you what I have been going through in the past few weeks over this issue; it has not been easy for me. Father Zuni was my classmate; we spent seven years in the seminary. At a time he proceeded to Kaduna Polytechnic and read Accounting.
But this thing happened and nobody knew. But he has to face the sanction. We sacked and disrobed him because what he did is no longer compatible with his vocation as a priest. It was not true that he was transferred to any village.
He was about to be transferred on normal routine, but when I heard of this story, I had to cancel the transfer and sacked him. It is true that he had affairs with two women and they both had children for him, but one of the women is late already.
We are not God, we did not know on time until now that he was having affairs with two women. The church said the priest has to go because the church doesn’t allow priests to marry.
So he had to go and look after his children and his matrimonial home. You can now imagine what the priest is going through, either spiritually or psychologically. He must be going through hell on earth. This is my concern for him now.
The woman and the kids will be going through trauma also. I have been trying to see how I can help him, but I don’t think I have the skills to help him. But he needs help to come to terms with reality.
By December he will be 30 years in the priesthood, and he is now 54 years old, so at this age what can he do with his life. Nobody can employ him now.
He spent seven years in the seminary and 30 years in the priesthood, and that is 37 years, so what can he do with his life at 54? The church too is going through a lot of trauma, so we need everybody’s prayers for us to put this incident behind us.”he said in tears
Meanwhile the man in the eye of the storm, Father Zuni, has neither denied nor confirmed the allegation. In a telephone interview he said
“I find it difficult myself to believe what people are saying about me. I will not comment on it now. I will follow due process to invite you for an interview, but I am afraid, the newspaper of the archdiocese, The Cross News, may carry this story before you (Sunday Sun)”.