Abakaliki, Ebonyi State – The Catholic Diocese of Abakaliki, in collaboration with the Diocesan Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria (CYON), has officially disassociated itself from a recent award ceremony at St. Philomena Catholic Parish, Izhia.
The event awarded Hon. Mrs. Nora Ngozi Alo for her support to the Church and the Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria within the parish.
In an unexpected twist, the award ceremony had included the claim “The only Virgin in Ebonyi State,” which has since sparked controversy and outrage within the diocese. The diocese has categorically stated that it does not condone the trading of virtue for any award.
The parish priest and parishioners of St. Philomena Catholic Parish, Izhia, were reportedly taken by surprise by this turn of events, as the inclusion of the phrase “The only Virgin in Ebonyi State” had never been part of the original plan for the merit award.
The Diocese of Abakaliki has strongly condemned the act of ignorance displayed by the parish youth president, who was responsible for the controversial wording on the award. In response to this incident, the youth president is presently undergoing disciplinary measures initiated by the parish.
In an official statement, the diocese reaffirmed its commitment to upholding the values and teachings of the Catholic Church and expressed deep regret for any unintended misrepresentation of the virtue of virginity. The diocese urged the public to disregard the controversial aspect of the award ceremony.
With the publication of this disclaimer, the Catholic Diocese of Abakaliki has nullified the award presented to Hon. Mrs. Nora Ngozi Alo, and the award has been officially withdrawn.
The diocese concluded the statement with a prayer, invoking Mary, Queen of all Virgins, to intercede on their behalf. The statement also carried the message “Amen” and was issued from Ebonyi State.