Chad said Friday it would expel Michel Russo, the bishop of the oil-rich southern region of Doha, for "activities incompatible with his status", in a government statement that gave him a week to leave the country.
A source close to the Italian bishop's office said the move followed a September 30 sermon, broadcast on a private radio station, in which he had criticised the country's handling of its oil revenue.
In the sermon, Russo criticised Chad's poor distribution of revenue, saying local people were not profiting enough from oil exploration and were left to live in poverty.
The government gave Russo a week starting Sunday to quit the country.
On Wednesday, Chad's communications council released a statement rebuking the La Voix du Paysan radio station for the broadcast.
"By broadcasting live this sermon, La Voix du Paysan propagated words likely to disturb public order," the council said, adding that it was issuing a warning to the station in accordance with current law, but did not provide further details.
Chad, which only began to produce oil in 2003, currently produces on average around 120,000 barrels per day, according to government estimates from 2011.
Oil revenue has allowed the poverty-stricken central African country to modernise its army, upgrade its roads and build numerous public buildings. Still, certain people have criticised the government for not doing enough to better the lives of Chad residents.
Chadian authorities had pledged to allocate 70 percent of the country's oil earnings to reducing poverty in exchange for financial support for a 1,000-kilometre (600-mile) pipeline between Chad's Doba oil field and the Cameroonian port of Kribi under the terms of an agreement with the World Bank.
But in 2008, the World Bank withdrew the financing, saying Chad had failed to honour its commitment to battling poverty.
On Wednesday, the opposition condemned the government in a statement, saying "Chadians thought that oil revenues could help authorities steer the country onto a path of development... What a disappointment!"
The revenues "only benefit a few," it added.
President Idriss Deby Itno, in power since 1990, was sworn in for a fourth term last year following a contested election.© ANP/AFP