Parishioners at Queen of Apostles Catholic Church, Kakuri parish,
Kaduna State, are still in shock following revelation that the parish
priest, Very Reverend Father Peter Zuni, 54, was engaged in a secret
marriage to two women, an act that led to his being disrobed and sacked
from the priesthood.
Sunday Sun gathered that one of the wives is already late, while the
surviving one who blew the whistle about three weeks ago over the secret
marriage is said to be nursing a child for the embattled priest.
When Sunday Sun visited the premises of the Queen of the Apostles
parish, some parishioners confirmed the report, which they said was
initially thought to be mere rumour.
The parishioners who spoke on condition of anonymity said they were
shocked and surprised to learn of a petition to the Bishop of Kaduna
Archdiocese, Bishop Ndagoso Manoso, that two women had children for
their parish priest, an act considered to be an abomination and grave
sin against the Catholic doctrine.
They 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.
However, when Sunday Sun contacted the disrobed priest on his telephone
line, and sought comments on his alleged controversial transfer from the
city to a remote village, he 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.”
On the allegation of his involvement in secret marriage to two women who
bore children for him even as a Catholic priest, he neither denied nor
confirmed the allegation. Rather 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).”
Rev 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.
Unfortunately, parishioners lamented that the controversial priest’s
first name, Peter, reminded them of the biblical Peter who denied Jesus
three times before the cock crowed.
Archbishop in tears
When contacted, the Archbishop of Kaduna Catholic Diocese, Bishop
Ndagoso Manoso also confirmed the report to Sunday Sun in his office
along Tafawa Balewa Way, Kaduna.
Bishop Manoso who was almost in tears when he spoke on the matter, said
Father Zuni actually committed the sin. He said that what the priest
did, brought a sad moment and embarrassment to the entire archdiocese.
The embattled priest was his classmate in the seminary more than 30
years ago. Bishop Manoso said that he could imagine the spiritual and
psychological torture the priest could be going through over this sinful
The Archbishop also expressed worry over the health condition of the
disrobed priest who is known to be diabetic and dependent on daily
injection of insulin.
On how the bubble burst over the secret matrimonial relationship, Bishop
Manoso said the woman at the centre of the storm 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.
Bishop Manoso said, “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
“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
He spoke further:
“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.”
According to the doctrine of the Catholic Church, only unmarried men are
ordained into the priesthood as they are obligated to swear to an oath
of celibacy and observe perfect and perpetual service for the sake of
the kingdom of heaven.