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Okonkwo urges politicians to stop embarrassing clerics

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A social commentator, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, has urged politicians to stop embarrassing clerics who speak the truth.

He said the caution followed the recent alleged attack on the Archbishop of Owerri, Most Reverend Anthony Obinna.

According to him, although the archbishop had denied that he was assaulted at a funeral service in Owerri, but engaging clerics in verbal exchanges do not augur well in a democracy.

He said: “Whatever admonitions that Archbishop Obinna had made to the political leadership in Imo State was consistent with the position of the Catholic Bishops, which they had declared during their visit to President Muhammadu Buhari.

“It is not also inconsistent with the homily of Cardinal John Onaiyekan at a holy mass that opened the first plenary of the 2018 Catholic Bishops Conference, at the St. Gabriel Chaplaincy in Abuja in February.

“It was not only an assault on Archbishop Obinna, but also an affront on all the bishops and catholic faithful to challenge, or even seek to disrupt a church proceeding, because the politicians disagreed with the truth, which the bishop told those in power.”

Okonkwo stressed the lessons of the Lenten season as a period of reflection, reconciliation and forgiveness.

He urged those who took undue advantage of the burial incident in Imo State to disparage the archbishop to seek the face of God in confession and contrition.

“Our people should learn to fear God and respect his servants. It is on record that the Archbishop Obinna had always spoken out against unjust government policies and decisions, including those of the previous administrations in the state.

“If the message that he preached then was sweet to the ears, how come that it is now sour? The problem cannot be the archbishop or the church, but those to whom the truth had been told.

“They have to refrain from attacking ordained leaders of the church when they tell them the truth, or, even allowing their followers to do the same,” he said.

Okonkwo, who is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State, added the church is known for preaching the gospel and teaching the right morals.


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