Photo Credit: Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
By ACNS staff
Senior leaders of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) will still meet for their bi-annual Standing Committee, despite the kidnapping of their Provincial Dean.
The second most senior cleric in the Church of Nigeria, Dean of the Province and Archbishop of Niger Delta Province, the Most Revd Ignatius Kattey, was kidnapped by armed men late on Friday evening.
Provincial Communciations Director, Canon Taiwo Faluso, said, "We are praying that God in His infinite mercy will grant us, very quickly, the Dean's release from the hoodlums that took him".
Nevertheless, he stressed that the Province's bi-annual Standing Committee meeting in Archbishop's diocese of Niger Delta North would go ahead. Several Church leaders, including Primate Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, are currently en route to the meeting.
"These are the church's most important meetings," said Canon Faluso, adding that the first one had been held in March. "Key decisions are taken during the meeting, and this time we have a consecration of a bishop-elect."
Canon Faluso was not able to confirm whether the Primate had been in contact with the kidnappers.
Archbishop Kattey and his wife Beatrice Kattey were kidnapped near their residence at Eleme, Port Harcourt, at around 10.45pm on Friday.
According to one news report, kidnappers abandoned the Archbishop's car containing Mrs Kattey after a police chase. The Archbishop is still missing.
Anglicans across the Communion have expressed their dismay about the kidnapping. Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese in Europe the Rt Revd David Hamid wrote on his blog, "Archbishop Ignatius is the Dean of the Nigerian Church, and Archbishop of the Niger Delta Province, and the second most senior Anglican bishop in the country. According to reports, the kidnappers abandoned the Archbishop's car containing Mrs Kattey after a police chase. The Archbishop is still missing.
"Archbishop Ignatius accompanied Archdeacon of Italy and Malta Jonathan Boardman on visits to Turin and Padua last April, and along with his colleague Archbishop Joseph Akinfenwa came to my office afterwards to report on their visit and explore with me how our partnership and cooperation might be deepened...Please pray for the safe release of the Archbishop."