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Approach Those Who Are In Need With Tenderness - Pope …As Cardinal Onaiyekan Task Faithful To Be More Pro-active
The Holy Father Pope Francis has reiterated the need for faithful to approach those who are in need of care with tenderness, stressing that it is important for all to spread the love of Christ to one's neighbor, especially to those who deserve it, those who suffer and those who are marginalized.

This was contained in his message for 2014 world day of the sick in Rome.

According to the Holy Father, “the Church sees in you, dear sick people, the special presence of the suffering of Christ” noting that “we too must give our lives for the brethren”, adding that God gives courage to those who are facing adversity.

Continuing the pontiff hinted that “though the son of God made man and has not taken away human disease and suffering but he has taken them on to himself, transforming and reducing their difficulties”, adding that “the mother of Jesus and our mother Mary is attentive to the voice of God and the need and difficulties of his children”, while noting that “we cannot love God if we do not love our neighbour”.

In a similar vain, the metropolitan of Abuja Archdiocese, John Cardinal Onaiyekan has tasked faithful to be more pro-active and be ready to be properly mobilized for the evangelization apostolate of the Church, particularly in the new evangelization era.

He made this call while presenting a paper at the conference of the Catholic Bishops of Germany and Pontifical council for the promotion of Christian unity at Casa Pastor Bonus in Rome.

The Cardinal who noted that the proliferation of Pentecostal churches as a negative impact on Christian unity in the country, hinted that “the activities of some Charismatic groups in the Catholic Church is an attempt to beat the Pentecostals at their game”.

Further, the prelate pointed out that “we must admit that there are some things to learn and gain from Pentecostal Churches”, noting that “since there is hardly a serous programme for the training of clergy, like our long and elaborate programme of priestly formation, practically every member can become a leader in the Church. Anyone can learn to teach the bible and even to organize a community”, stressing that “surely, we can encourage lay people to start weekday worship centres in their environment without priests. They can read the scriptures and get people to help with Catholic doctrine. All above, they can pray together within their environment”, adding that “all those do not need a priest.

More, cardinal Onaiyekan hinted that “Catholics, very often do not see it as their duty or competence to lead any of such group”, asserting that “we need to open up more in this direction. It does not go against the important and primary position of the Eucharist in Catholic worship and advanced that “infant, it can become a good way of preparing people for the Eucharistic celebrations which takes place in the parish Church”.

Speaking on the negative aspects of Pentecostalism, the cardinal remarked that “it proliferation has only resulted in the multiplication of churches without necessarily creating more or better Christians”, affirming that “among themselves too, they are constantly splitting. And so, it has made the discussion of ecumenism in Nigeria problematic adding that “… absolute power wielded by the pastor/founder, absence of ordained minister and non provision for the Eucharist, total neglect of church history and making prosperity gospel centre piece of the religious worship of these churches.”


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