A catholic priest in Kaduna state has been disrobed and sacked from the priesthood following revelations that he was allegedly married to two women.
The priest, Reverend Father Peter Zuni, 54, was in charge of Queen of Apostles Catholic Church, Kakuri parish, Kaduna State.
According to SUN, one of the women is dead and the second one who blew the whistle about three weeks ago over the secret marriage is said to be nursing a child for the embattled priest.
The report also state that a petition was sent to the Bishop of Kaduna Archdiocese, Bishop Ndagoso Manoso, which led to Fr. Zuni’s sack.
A parishioner who spoke on the condition of anonymity, pointed out that in order to cover up the priest’s ‘sin’ from spreading to the larger public, the Archdiocese allegedly organised a send off for the embattled priest to a remote village in Jaba Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
“During the send off, the priest was not allowed to make a farewell speech, and many people refused to take photographs with him. There was little or no felicitation with him because most of the time he was seen standing aloof under a mango tree without anybody going close to him.
Nobody can say when the priest committed the alleged sinful act. If it happened before his ordination, he wouldn’t have been ordained, so probably it was after his ordination, and you know, God does not sleep, no matter the length of cover up, one day the bubble will burst. And the bubble has burst now,” the parishioner said.
Zuni, when contacted by Sunday Sun on telephone for comments his controversial transfer from the city to a remote village, said: “Nobody is ordained to remain and work in the city. I have spent five years as parish priest of Queen of Apostles, so I can work anywhere, city or village.”
When probed on his alleged marriage to two women, 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).”
Fr. Zuni further said he is currently based in Suleja, Niger State. But Sunday Sun gathered that parishioners were made to believe that the embattled priest was transferred to Gumel village in southern Kaduna, while he was actually sacked from the priesthood.
Bishop Manoso also confirmed the report, adding that what the priest did, brought a sad moment and embarrassment to the entire archdiocese.
“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,” Manoso said.
On how the bubble burst over the secret matrimonial relationship, Bishop Manoso said the woman confronted him with a baby said to belong to Father Zuni, and after due investigation by his office, it was confirmed that the priest was her secret husband.