Archbishop Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Cape Coast, has suspended a Priest, Rev. Fr. Robert A.K. Oduro, for refusing transfer and for establishing and managing a ‘Prayer Camp’ on his own.
The suspension which took effect on June 3, 2022, implies that the Rev. Father cannot function as a Catholic Priest until the suspension is revoked by the Archbishop.
Archbishop Palmer-Buckle stated in the suspension letter to the Priests, Religious, the Laity and the general public that:
“After your refusal of transfer effective January 1, 2022, from St. Paul’s Parish, Assin Jakai to the Archdiocesan Secretariat, Fourth Ridge, Cape Coast and your subsequent acts of establishing and managing a “Prayer Camp” on your own.”
“Thereafter, I have closely followed the events of your refusal to respond to my invitation to you for further discussion on your Ministry as a Roman Catholic Priest of the Archdiocese of Cape Coast,” the letter added.
“I recall my personal visit on Sunday, April 24, 2022, and that of my official delegation later to your ‘Prayer Camp’ inviting you for further discussion and discernment on your Ministry as a validly ordained Minister of the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and member of the Presbyterium.
“You have, however, persisted in your obstinacy and refusal to respond to any call extended to you for a dialogue on the matter. Given these acts of disobedience, I hereby write to suspend you with immediate effect from Ministry as a Roman Catholic Priest and accordingly, I bring this to the notice of the Priests, Religious and the Laity of the Catholic Archdiocese of Cape Coast and to the general public to the effect that you cannot function as a Catholic Priest until this suspension is revoked,” Archbishop Palmer-Buckle stressed.
Suspension in the Catholic Church
According to the Catholic Church, suspension of a priest means that he has been removed in part or in full from his ministerial activities as a cleric and that some of his faculties may be restricted.
With this, he may no longer be able to act like a Catholic Priest, nor celebrate Holy Mass or wear a Roman collar in public.
This is in accordance with the Code of Canon Law.
Can. 1333 §1 – states – “Suspension, which can affect only clerics, prohibits:
1/ either all or some acts of the power of orders;
2/ either all or some acts of the power of governance;
3/ the exercise of either all or some of the rights or functions attached to an office.
§2. A law or precept can establish that a suspended person cannot place acts of governance validly after a condemnatory or declaratory sentence.
§3. A prohibition never affects:
1/ the offices or the power of governance which are not under the power of the superior who establishes the penalty;
2/ the right of residence which the offender may have by reason of office;
3/ the right to administer goods which may pertain to the office of the person suspended if the penalty is latae sententiae.
§4. A suspension prohibiting a person from receiving benefits, a stipend, pensions, or any other such thing entails the obligation of making restitution for whatever has been received illegitimately, even if in good faith.”