Diocese of Owerri goes tough on burials

The Anglican Bishop of Owerri, Rt. Rev. Cyril C. Okorocha, PhD has urged Christians to give their parents befitting life and not befitting burials as he rolled out sanctions for both the priest and laity in his diocese who breaks the rules guiding the burial process of a deceased member.
Addressing a one-day Synod of the diocese held at CATOL penultimate Saturday, the bishop warned that any member breaching the procedure would be excommunicated until he  or she shows enough repentance.
Similarly, any priest who abates and aids in the flouting of the laid down burial procedures would either be defrocked or his license withdrawn.
Bishop Okorocha detailed the breaches to include encouraging ostentatious burial ceremonies, telling lies about the exact date of the death of a member, imposition of pagan practices during and after the burial of a deceased member, especially the forceful shaving of a widow’s hair and making unnecessary demands as pre-conditions for the burial of a church member.
The prelate then charged the priests under him to always stress it in their sermons to their congregations that God requires them to give their parents befitting life instead of befitting burials.
The diocesan vehemently frowned at some priests who live in their personal houses and still collect huge amounts as rent advance from the church, pointing out that the practice was more pronounced among non-stipendiary priests.
The highlight of the Synod was the redemption of three trophies for Clean and Green Annual Competition won in 2015 by CATOL Archdeaconry, Nazareth Church, Ohohia-Mbieri and St. Peter’s Church, Ikenegbu, Owerri, respectively.