The Nigerian Catholic Church says it has ‘temporarily’ withdrawn its membership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in order to promote Christian unity and peaceful coexistence amongst Christians and non-Christians alike.
A spokesperson of the Church, Rev. Fr. Dr. Cornelius Omonokhua, said the action taken by the Catholic Church will be reviewed after the annual meeting of the Conference of Bishops in February.
Dr. Omonokhua listed as reasons for the pull out to include the polarizing statements of some Christian leaders; the use of money in CAN elections; and several court cases involving state chapters of CAN.
He said as members of CAN, Catholic leaders have quietly brought these concerns to CAN leadership but that their advice was shunted aside as the CAN leadership repeatedly accused them of ‘intellectual arrogance.’
He pointed out that the Catholic Church is some 1,000 years old and has the experience and knowledge to offer advice and moral leadership to CAN and has done so many times.
But, Dr. Omonokhua said, “You just can’t save people who are drowning, if you are drowning with them.”
He also said that the leadership of CAN is not the leadership of Nigerian Christians, since most of the churches are autonomous. As such, the pullout will not create any vacuum.
Asked if the Catholics were concerned about material acquisition by CAN leaders, he said the Catholic Church does not want to tell church leaders how to live their lives, but cautioned that modesty was lacking among some church leaders in Nigeria of today. He said Catholic priests have sworn an oath of poverty and as such could not partake in the material acquisition of worldly things.
“We will be happy if CAN leadership can show moderation,” he said. “Common sense dictates that they do that.”
Culled From: SaharaReporters