From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
Anambra state Catholic priest has barred some parishioners in his parish from receiving Holy Communion over alleged refusal to collect their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).
It was gathered the priest, identified simply as Rev. Fr. Okonkwo in one of the Catholic dioceses in Anambra State told his parishioners during morning Mass that it was sinful for a citizen to neglect his civic obligation as stipulated by the law.
The priest was said to have asked those who had not collected their PVCs to come up to the alter which they filled out, but the priest told them that henceforth, they should stop receiving the Holy Communion until such a time when they must have collected their voters cards.
Fr. Okonkwo further announced that any of them that secretly receives Communion in his parish, or elsewhere without his PVC has committed a mortal sin.
He told his parishioners, who were stopped from receiving Holy Communion, not to see his move as punishment, but as a call to do the right thing.
He wondered why Christians, at a time when Nigeria was in dire need of good leadership, should not get themselves ready to elect God-fearing leaders.
The priest who cited Mathew 22:21, said even Jesus Christ was mindful of those in authorities, and his civic duties.
“Nigeria is at the crossroads presently, and the world is looking unto Nigerians, and Christians in particular, to chose the best of leaders in 2023 to take the country out of its problems. Christians should be at the forefront. We should not be seen to be spectators. We must all go out to collect our voters cards, and exercise our civic obligations. God will not come down from heaven to elect our leaders. No amount of prayers for good leadership will work for us, unless we elect good leaders ourselves,” he said.