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February 24, 2017

We still have Herods in Nigeria – Archbishop Obinna …Vows to continue to speak out

You know the story of Herod, the Roman-appointed king of the Jews. You are also familiar with the biblical account of how this tyrant ordered the massacre of the Innocents in order to keep his throne. According to Biblical account, Herod ordered the execution of all young male children in the vicinity of Bethlehem, so as to avoid the loss of his throne to a new born king of the Jews, whose birth had been announced to him by the Magi.

Preaching at the Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri, during the Epiphany of the Lord, January 8, the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri, Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, said some Nigerian leaders behave like Herod. He noted that many innocent people have been massacred in the country because of power and money. “How can other person be king other than myself”, they ask in the same fury of King Herod. The prelate also said that many have killed innocent people because of selfishness, to retain power during elections or for money, business and influence.

Condemning all kinds of killings, Archbishop Obinna said, “I don’t pray that anybody be killed. I will not send anybody to kill someone because we disagree, neither will I wish my enemies death.” He said for any child of God there is no room for gratuitous violence or any violence at all.

Making reference to his intervention in certain policies and issues in the state, including the pension brouhaha, Archbishop Obinna said, he would not stop speaking out on issues and policies that affect the less-privileged. “When we speak, we don’t speak because we hate anyone. No, we speak because we want improvement for everybody.”

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He said “because God takes care of everybody, we priests should take care of everybody. That’s why last Sunday (Jan. 1), we prayed for everybody here in the Cathedral – the Imo State government, civil servants, unemployed graduates, pensioners etc.

The Archbishop who organized a luncheon for the pensioners after Mass on New Year Day, said, “We’ll continue to do our little bit, you too, do your own,” adding “it’s better to lit one candle than to cause darkness”.

The Archbishop said the independence of the Church; the independence of our faith was to make sure that earthly leaders do not interfere in our worship of God.

He said Christ has restored our dignity and we have no duty to be slaves to any human being and nobody has a right to enslave us. He however regretted that enslaving others was still going on in the name of money, power and influence.

The Archbishop noted that Christ came to empower us to remain the children of God despite the power of leaders, who have become tyrannical in many ways. No matter how they plan to frustrate you, or intimidate you with various titles and earthly powers, we, Christians are mmachi, and the redemption which Christ has brought, has brought a new dignity to us more than the original natural dignity at creation.

“By being in a state of grace, your dignity has been elevated to a divine dignity, and you are now a citizens of heaven as long as you retain the grace of God in your life.

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“With this grace, we will be able to bring down the mountains of wickedness, pride, injustice in society and putting the fear of God in our work, the world will become a better place,” stated the Archbishop.

 


 

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