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Okoh urges bishops to scutinise intending priests before ordination


• Catholic knights seek govt protection for clerics

Primate of All Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, has advised Anglican bishops to do background checks on intending priests before their admission into seminary.

Okoh, who gave the advise to delegates at the 2018 Divine Commonwealth Conference (DIVCCON), in Abuja said this was necessary to reduce cases of misconduct, suspension and dismissals.He said: “One person cannot by himself pick a priest, he must do a background check, where the elders and councils members of the church are involved to avoid error.”

He also urged the bishops not to allow themselves to be tempted, or be under any pressure by families, friends and the society in ordaining priests of their choice.He counseled them to be guided by qualities of discipleship and signs that the intending priests have the calling of God.

The primate told the participants that ministers in the Anglican Church should acknowledge that there are different kinds of powers.“We have the money power, women power, witchcraft power, sand political power, adding that the person must have the power that supersede all of these powers.
“That overriding power is the power of our Lord Jesus, and if you don’t have the power of Jesus, do not come to be ordained because you will be frustrated,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Association of the Papal Knights and Medalists in Nigeria (APKMN) has appealed to government to provide security for priests in various parishes across the country.The knights made the appeal under the aegis of Association of the Papal Knights and Medalists in Nigeria (APKMN) at its 10th National Conference in Owerri, Imo State.

National President of the body, Patrick Ikemefuna, lamented that the denomination had lost many priests in the hands of kidnappers.According to him: “Our country is facing religious social, political and economic challenges. “It is presently passing through a state of high rate of poverty, hunger, unemployment and corruption resulting in armed robberies, kidnappings and killings.”He expressed concern that priests should be the targets of these evil men.

The theme of the conference at Assumpta Cathedral Catholic Church premises in Owerri, was: “The Church in Nigeria-Its Challenges.”The conference featured the addresses of Bishop of Umuahia Catholic Diocese, Bishop Lucius Ugorji, represented by Supreme Chaplain Knight of St. Mulumba, Fr. Francis Nwaiwu, and that of Archbishop of Owerri Catholic Ecclessiastic Province, Dr. Anthony J. V. Obinna, represented by Fr. Innocent Osuagwu.

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