The Catholic Diocese of Pankshin in Plateau state, has condemned the action of Revd. Fr. Kefas Gogwim, who was seen in a viral video, preventing Catholic faithfuls from gaining entrance inside the church for mass celebration.
The Revd. Fr. Gogwim, who was seen in the video, standing at the entrance of the church, said,
“… As I told you last week, if you do not have your PVC, you will not attend mass here today. It is as serious as that. When I said it, some of you took it for granted as if we were joking and as you know the federal government has given deadline that at the end of this month, the registration will stop and we have already discussed it with the school management that any student who does not have his PVC will automatically have carryover; and beginning from today, if you do not have your PVC, you cannot enter this chapel today and celebrate mass with us; it’s as serious as that…”
To this, the Catholic Bishop of Pankshin, Most Rev. Michael Gobal Gokum, has frowned at Rev. Fr. Gogwim, for preventing “some Catholic worshipers from attending Mass because they did not have their voter’s cards with them.”
The Most Rev. Gokum, in the statement signed by the Diocesan Director of Communications, also affirmed that, “The action of this priest, did not have the approval of the Bishop, neither is it the policy of the diocese.”
While encouraging parishioners “to obtain their PVCs to exercise their civic duties,” Bishop Gokum emphasized that, “…the Diocese disassociates itself from this video in circulation, and regrets the unfortunate incident…”
Below is the press statement as released by the church: