NB 247

The Catholic Diocese of Ondo has clarified that no priest of the church was kidnapped in Sunday morning’s attack on St Francis Catholic Church in Owo.

The attack left many people dead and several others sustaining serious levels of injuries.

In a statement signed by its Director of Communications, Augustine Ikwu, the diocese noted that all the priests of the parish were safe.

The church however lamented the attack, saying prayers should be made for the people of Owo community, the affected persons and Ondo State.

“It is Pentecost Sunday, a time every Catholic is expected to be in Church
to commemorate the Solemnity. It is so sad to say that while the Holy
Mass was going on, men of unknown origin, wielding guns attacked St.
Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State,” the statement read.

“Many are feared
dead and many others injured and the Church violated. The identity of the
perpetrators remains unknown while the situation has left the community

“However, for now, security agencies have been deployed to the
community to relatively handle the situation.

“At this point in the history
of our dear country Nigeria, we need God’s ultimate intervention to
restore peace and tranquillity.

“Meanwhile, all the Priests in the parish are safe and none was kidnapped
as the social media has it.

“The Bishop of the Diocese is also with them at
this trying time. Let us continue to pray for them and the good people of Owo and the state at large.

“We turn to God to console the families of those whose lives were lost in
this distressing incident, and we pray for the departed souls to rest in
peace. Amen.

“The Bishop appeals that we remain calm, be law abiding and pray for
peace and normalcy to return to our community, state and country.”

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