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February 24, 2017

Catholics Hold Prayer Rally … In Owerri

As life gets harder, tougher and rougher in Imo State and the rest of Nigeria, the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri, His Grace Most Rev. Anthony J.V. Obinna has called out the faithful to come out en mass and petition God in a special one -day prayer for peace.

The Day of Prayer for Peace in Nigeria, Imo State and the World will hold on Tuesday, 20th of September 2016 at 8.00 am, beginning from the Villa Mariae along Wetheral Road, Owerri, with a rosary procession, ending at 12 noon with a Holy Mass at the Maria Assumpta Cathedral.

A release from the Archdiocesan Chancellor/ Secretary, Rev. Fr. Alphonsus Oha said parishes and chaplaincies in Owerri urban and semi-urban zones would start the procession from the villa Marie while others would do so in their own churches.

This rally, a statement from the Assumpta Secretariat said, has no political motives, but rather is part of the national prayer engagement. It will be also the local church joining in prayer with the Holy Father Pope Francis, who will be visiting Assisi on September 20. During his one-day visit the Pope will be taking part in the closing of an interreligious World Day of Prayer for Peace, organized by the Community of Sant’Egidio. His latest pilgrimage to Assisi marks the 30th anniversary of the First World Day of Prayer for Peace that St. John Paul convened in the birthplace of St. Francis, back in 1986. and he will be praying for our troubled world.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has condemned the use of public funds for personal interests.

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Speaking at the second plenary meeting in Akure, Sept. 11, CBCN President, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, Archbishop of Jos also frowned at government appointments that do not reflect Nigeria’s geopolitical, ethnic and religious diversity.

“Even those in authority agree that life is getting harder, rougher and tougher. What is not happening is a concerted approach by both those in government and opposition towards a solution. We must admit that some of us, who are charged with and should be custodians of our common welfare, have been very careless and reckless in the use of public funds which have been subordinated to personal, ethnic or religious selfish interests… It should be realised that this country is made up of North, South, East and West,” he said.

“Our multi ethnic and multi religious make up calls for sensitivity in planning and execution of projects, appointments and recruitment into the vital organs of government. Many have observed that some recent appointments do not reflect the geopolitical/ religious balance in a nation where in the absence of any reliably documented statistical evidence it has been estimated to be 40 % Christians and 40% Muslims while 20 per cent goes to traditional Worshippers and others.”

The CBCN boss commended President Muhammadu Buhari on the success his administration has recorded over the Boko Haram insurgency, and also for rekindling more awareness that corruption is evil, anti-people and responsible for the nation’s economic and social problems.

The cleric recalled CBCN’s visit to President Buhari and the concerns they put before him.

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“We also raised issues with him about the consistent attacks by herdsmen, the subtle religious discrimination in some parts of the North, the grazing controversy generating negative reactions, the danger of tribal and religious intolerance, the appalling plight of internally displaced people and the need for a coordinated approach in resettling and rehabilitating them. The President did listen to us,” Archbishop Kaigama said.



One Response to “Catholics Hold Prayer Rally … In Owerri”
  1. Ahamefule Nnorom says:

    It is good news that the Church has decided to come out “en masse” in prayer for “Imo State, Nigeria and the world.” The Bishops of Enugu State recently held their own prayer rally, which was originally planned to end in protest at the governor’s office, but was diverted, at the last minute, to Holy Ghost Cathedral-thus losing its political clout. But would it not have sent out a stronger message if all the Bishops of the Igbo-speaking areas (perhaps with those of the South South) had done it together? It would have, surely, reminded the jihadists and their agents: That Igboland is the most Catholic/Christian region of Nigeria and Africa, that Christians in the region will stoutly and robustly resist the increased efforts to Islamize the area, and that the Igbo agents of the caliphate will be neutralized. Our Bishops should know that Resisting the Fulani “Janjaweed” Islamic invasion of Igboland is the primary obligation of the Catholic Church in Igboland. Otherwise, the Church will cease to exist sooner than most people think. Those who ignore history become its victim. But is it necessary for the Archdiocese to declare that the rally has “no political motives?” Are they not aware that when the Church is afraid of the government, freedom and democracy decrease, but when the government is afraid of the Church, freedom and democracy increase and flourish.

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