Like narcotics and other psychotropic substances that lead to addiction, religious organizations, societies and groups that operate within the strict ambits of their various doctrines also eat into the psyche and soul of their adherents. The operational word here is Faith. And faith often means – believe in and follow what I say and not what I do. This appears to be the spirit behind some of the outrageous conducts and life styles of the often self-appointed men of God, and even those who are truly called to serve the Lord.
These rather disturbing observations in the houses of God have become even more worrisome because the cancer has also eaten into the good
In many Catholic Church Parishes and Outstations where the officiating Priest has a favourable inclination towards the charismatic movement, the mode of worship has tilted towards Pentecostal traditions. Lots of praise worship, dance drama, spectacle and even stealing! In a certain Parish in Agege, a suburb of
The thieving Catholic Christian brother dances to the Alter towards the end of offerings, but rather than make any offering, he steals what other members of the congregation had put in the till, using his agbada to shield the watchful eyes of the Church Wardens. On this fateful Sunday, as he rose and began his theatrics towards the Alter, the choir quickly struck this catchy tune as pre-arranged with the Reverend Father.
He has come again
He has come again
Father he has come again
Father he has come again
This is how the Reverend Father identified the Christian Brother miscreant and put a stop to his absurd drama. But in another Parish, the mode of revelation was different. The Priest had a couple who visited from abroad. As a long time friend and colleague, they came to worship in his Parish. During offerings, the man dropped an envelope containing one hundred thousand naira. His wife dropped another envelope with fifty thousand naira. At the end of Mass Service, the couple told their friend the Reverend, to manage their widow’s might, and then left.
The Priest retired to the Sacristy and his office where later, the Chief Usher came to make a return of eighty five thousand naira as the total of the offerings from the congregation during the Mass Service. The Priest looked at her and the money in her hands; he felt very disappointed and sorry for the world. So he solemnly told her to go and bring the rest of the money. She had to go and tell her fellow Christian thieves that salvation had come to them. They returned the money they shared to the tune of over three hundred thousand naira! The reverend Father was shocked but wiser.
At the Catholic Church Parish in Shogunle where the Priest is said to have perfected the act of the Pentecostal dramaturges, one hears of multiple taxations collected from members of the congregation in various names and guises garnished with ever so subtle coercion and sometimes direct confrontation and embarrassment from the reverend Father. He is said to have forced his members to buy more than one ticket valued at one thousand naira, to attend “Dine with your Priest”, a social interactive program he recently introduced to the Parish, without caring to know what the economic situation of such members is. (This Priest has since been petitioned out of the Shogunle Parish.)
Having learned from the misfortunes of other priests at the hands of disloyal and unscrupulous church workers, or perhaps from personal experience, the amiable Priest is said to have constructed boxes that have locks on them. At the end of each processional taxation, an Usher promptly padlocks the box to prevent anyone from pilfering its contents. The key to the padlock is with the Priest who sometime ago, insisted that a church member who went with a greeting card to wish him Merry Christmas, must put a cheque in the card before he would accept it from him!
One then wonders if the end is truly not at hand. This is more so, when one considers the number of known Catholic Priests with wives and concubines as against their vows of celibacy. And the revered authorities of the church are very much aware of these deceitful situations but appear to comfortably look the other way. Members who know these secrets are scared to speak. They are told to pray for the suspected erring Priests instead; after all they (Priests) are also human and therefore are susceptible to temptations. To make matters worse, some members say that they suspect the higher church authorities get returns from the Priests in order to remain or be posted to lucrative parishes, and or to simply ignore their unholy liaisons! One Reverend Father was said to have been summarily transferred after a huge harvest, for sending just a cow to the Bishop!
Of course the case of reverend King is no longer news. But before his arrest and prosecution, all the atrocities he was said to have committed and now convicted of, were mere rumours. Whereas this writer does not in any way intend or pretend to pass judgment, “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”, he wishes to also remind us that the judgment of the Lord would start from His House. To this extent, one would rather appeal to our Men of God to carefully and genuinely tend to their flocks, so that we may have an appreciable reduction in the level of examination malpractices, moral decadence resulting in killings and theft, and preachments that promote materialism which is prevalent, naked and deep in our society today.