By Emma Onumah
& Chukwudi Ikpe
The Anglican Bishop of Owerri, His Lordship, Rt. Rev. Cyril C. Okorocha Ph.D has expressed worry over the way politicians now hijack the church.
Speaking at a joint meeting of the Diocesan Board and members of the Parish Church Committees in the Diocese, held at the Cathedral Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord (CATOL) Owerri last Monday, Bishop Okorocha condemned the idea of anybody turning a place of worship to a political campaign ground, and warned that, whatever happens, the devil would not win the battle or have the last word.
He urged all Christians, to join hands together and “let us recover the gospel and do away with the anarchy which has come into the church”.
Making reference to some portions of the Holy Bible including Ephesians 2:10 and Matthew 5, he noted that, in these difficult times, God has plans for us all, as His workmanship, and created us in Christ Jesus to do good works, stressing that, anything that we do not get in Christ Jesus is not from God.
Speaking on priestly vocation, the Bishop observed that it was a good thing to be known as a priest before, but expressed regret that a great number of priests today, have lost moral authority and integrity, and needed to prepare themselves, once again, for good works.
The Prelate advised a section of the Diocese, that is seeking to be given a new diocese, to do so gently and according to the provisions in the Constitution of the Church of Nigeria, adding that, the more we push and go about spending money, in order to achieve such a goal may demean such constitutional processes.
“Although the five-year moratorium, placed on the creation of new dioceses by the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has expired, the headship of the church is yet to lift the embargo. According to the Bishop, We are in the last days, and we need to stand up for Jesus.” He added.
The Prelate also used the occasion to ask all churches currently withholding the payment of their 2017/2018 stewardship contributions for whatever reason(s) to please have a re-think in order not to jeopardize the payment of salaries to the priests and church workers in the affected areas. As he subtly warned “until your diocese is created you must owe your allegiance to the existing Diocese which you belong to”.
Adding his voice and in answer to some questions, the Clerk and Registrar of the Diocese, Sir Ndukwe Nnawuchi, .SAN, noted that all protocols and procedures were duly observed in the course of making moves as to who succeeds the retiring Bishop.
The Clerk/Registrar, who is also the Chairman of the Bishop’s Retirement, Handover, and Reception Committee, reminded the entire Archdeaconries in the Diocese of their statutory obligations in this regard, and the need for them not to renege on the decisions collectively taken by all of them at a meeting, for whatever reasons stressing that time was no longer in their favour as to all that they needed to tidy up, before the events lined up for the memorable ceremony were due, including the completion of the Bishop’s retirement House.