David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
Bishop of Nnewi Catholic Diocese, Anambra State, Most Rev Hilary Okeke, has barred Catholics from taking chieftaincy title.
The bishop spoke in his Easter message, at the Assumption Cathedral, yesterday, with the theme: “New way of life with Jesus Christ risen from the dead.”
He condemned Christians who took the chieftaincy titles that still have idolatrous practices, connections and traditional festivals connected with idols, and vowed that his diocese will never allow that among his members.
Insisting he will not encourage any Catholic to take a chieftaincy title, he said ”unless, they do it according to the standard acceptable to the church, devoid of idolatry.”
Bishop Okeke also threathened to sanction any member who turns the Easter feast into an idolatrous celebration.
He regretted that some church members callthemselves Christians, but, also, joined in traditional practices that were connected with idols, false gods and goddesses in the name of their belief in the Igbo culture.
Okeke regretted that such members are ready to abandon true Christianity to be faithful to the Igbo culture, customs and traditions without regard to those practices attached to deity.
“Sad to say, some Christians throw away their baptismal names. Some people publicly demonstrate their way of life as Christians, but, privately and secretly send people to carry out for them the idolatrous activities attached to their customary and traditional practices.
In a special way, we must keep ourselves completely away from evil ways and, especially, from idolatry as St Paul warned,” the Bishop said.
He mentioned eight deities in Igbo land, including Idemili, Ogwugwu, Ulasi, Agwu, Akwu, Ala, Edo and Ofala, which he declared as idols, and warned true Christians to steer clear of them and anything linked to them.
On the insecurity in Nigeria, he said government should rise to the occasion to stop all manner of killings across the country.