Don’t compete with trendy pastors, Catholic Bishops warn priests


The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has warned its priests against “market place prophecies and visions, charismatic display of talents and material salvation”.

President of the Conference, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, gave the warning on Sunday in Abuja during the CBCN’s conference at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral in Abuja.

In what is seen as obvious reference to controversial Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka, Kaigama admonished priests to shun worldliness and materialism.

He charged them not to succumb to the temptation of importing unwanted doctrines that would promote personality and curry favour.

He said: “We must not be frightened into believing in God of ‘now, now’, cajoled by mouth watering material attractions or ostentatious living of some ministers of God.

“We should emphasise the need for sober Christianity without tricks, rhetoric, fanfare and the craze for social media publicity.

“All priests must not compete with trendy pastors to see visions and utter prophecies because they sometimes cause psychological disposition.

“We should help people to interior conversion and attitudinal change.”

Kaigama urged Christian religious leaders to admonish Christians to pray ceaselessly and evangelise through genuine witnessing and not wooing people with material things or any form of moral coercion.

He said: “We must avoid melodramatic displays that look like modern Broadway shows.

“Catholic priests should avoid flamboyant spirituality and noisy liturgy and teach the people values of internalised prayers from the heart.

“The gifts of speaking in tongues, miracle and prophecies are good as long as they are genuine.”

Kaigama further urged Christians to help humanity in love to conquer poverty and narrow the yawning gap between the rich and the poor.

“It is only when we engage in works of mercy in favour of the needy that we can hope for a stable, peaceful and safe world,” he said.

Charismatic Mbaka was transferred from Christ the King Parish, GRA, on January 30, where he had been the parish priest for 20 years to Our Lady of Rosary, Emene Enugu.

The fiery priest accused the Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Calistus Onaga, of sending him to a place where he will suffer.