By Gbenga Ojo,May 10, 2020
ABUJA-The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Archdiocese, Most Rev (Dr). Ignatius Kaigama, has caution religious leaders of their pressure to reopen places of worship across the country, warning of its consequences, as the country incessantly witness the widespread of coronavirus like wifi while stating that the pandemic is not only an acid litmus test for Christendom but will expose the authenticity of true men of God. His words: “This is the time to know who are true shepherds of the flock and those who are just engaged in work of religion in order to amass wealth for themselves or to acquire wealth and prosperity”.
“This is the acid test now. If you are a pastor or priest in order to serve the people and lead them to heaven, then whether coronavirus is active or not, you will still go on to do that. But if you are a pastor or priest in order to acquire material wealth, in order to enjoy prosperity, then, I’m sorry, you’re not called by God. You’re a businessman or businesswoman and not a priest or pastor. This is the time we should see real men of God who are dedicated, even to the point of giving everything they have, including their lives in the service of the people of God”
Continuing, the Archbishop further stated, that he wonder why some religious leader would not under the sensitivity of the period the world are and the challenge ahead of the church “This is a moment of trial for us, we hope that we will pass the test with distinction as pastors and we will be able to stand by our people solidly without money. If the collections are not coming to the church, tithes are not there, how do you do? Will you run away and abandon the sheep? No, as a good shepherd, you should stand strong and firm and be there for the people and pray for good time to come again.”
He reiterated that it is when we are alive that things or any plan can go on. “We have to be alive first, our priority now is to be alive and healthy. So, whatever we need to do to stay alive is more important. Things can be put on hold and if you can’t put things on hold, you have to manage by scaling them down.
“You can see, even in the church that we have not been holding our regular activities because we want to make sure we don’t increase the spread of this coronavirus. The same with government, banks and many other institutions. Everything has to be scaled down”
“The situation dictates what is possible, if there wasn’t any pandemic, things would go as normal. But now with the way it is, everything has to change. Life can’t be the same and marriage is good but must not be done according to what society feels it should be. Marriage can be done quietly and it is still marriage.” Archbishop spoke with the Punch Newspaper during the week.
It could be recall that the founder of the Living Faith Worldwide, aka Winners Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo kicked against the closing of churches due to the COVID-19 pandemic and currently stated that anyone against the reopening of churches will die while Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of the Christ Embassy supported Bishop Oyedepo, noting that those who supported the earlier closure of churches amid Covid-19 pandemic are not prayerful
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