April 16, 2024
News Nigeria

Bishop Doeme urges Catholic bishops to stop collections at adoration centers and prayer ministries

Rev. Fr. Michael Nsikak Umoh, CSN

Bishop Oliver Doeme of Maiduguri Diocese has called on the Catholic bishops in Nigeria to abolish all forms of collection and donation at ‘private’ adoration centers and prayer ministries in the country.

He made this appeal in his homily at the morning Mass on Wednesday, February 21, 2024, the sixth day of the ongoing plenary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) in Abuja.

The theme of his homily was ‘Sincere Repentance’, based on the readings of the Mass. He said that many Christians in Nigeria today are like the Jewish leaders who demanded signs from Jesus, because “their faith depends on miracles, signs and wonders.”

He lamented that many pastors, including some Catholic priests, have succumbed to the temptation to please their followers by engaging in unhealthy liturgical practices and manipulating the people.

“Unlike Jesus, many so-called men of God have failed to resist the call for miracles by their followers. This has led to the emergence of charlatans in the Lord’s vineyard. Sadly, some of these pastors are Catholic priests. The Gospel challenges Catholic priests to remain firm and focused on preaching repentance and conversion, rather than signs and miracles, as the core message of the Gospel.

“It also challenges us bishops to keep urging our priests to avoid the temptation of reducing Christianity and the Gospel message to miracles, signs and wonders. One way of doing this is for us bishops to insist that priests who want to promote such a model of Christianity through adoration centers or ministries, where such miracles are in high demand, should do so without collecting money, whether as tithe, seed sowing or launching, from their congregations,” he argued.

The homilist also denounced the rampant corruption in the country and its effects, such as religious intolerance, kidnapping, armed robbery, terrorism, oppression of the poor by the politicians, trafficking of women and children, rigging of elections, exam malpractice, fake pastors posing as men of God, and government’s indifference to the people’s suffering.

He concluded by urging all Christians to be wary of “the three enemies of our salvation, which are the devil, the flesh and the world. St. Teresa of Avila used to remind her fellow nuns that it is ‘one soul, one eternity.’ In other words, we should strive to preserve our souls from being corrupted by the world. During this Lenten season, we need to seek the intercession of Mary, Help of Christians. She loves us and will grant us the grace to overcome temptation and sin.”

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