Challenges posed by the Pentecostal phenomenon both within the Catholic Church and outside deserve the response of the Catholic Church in the context of the present day world. This is the conclusion of participants at the recently concluded International Colloquium on the Catholic Church and Pentecostalism.
The colloquium, attended by over 150 academics and religion experts from the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations, from within and outside Nigeria focused on the theme: The Catholic Church and Pentecostalism: Challenges in the Nigerian Context.
The four-day programme took place at the Daughters of Divine Love Retreat and Conference Centre (DRACC); Durumi, Abuja. It was organised by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) in collaboration with the German Bishops Conference Research Group on International Church Affairs and sponsored by Mission Aachen of Germany.
Speakers at the colloquium included: Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos, who is also President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN). Archbishop Kaigama spoke on The Role of the Catholic Church in the multi-religious context of Nigeria; Mr Richard Burgess of the University of Roehampton, United Kingdom spoke on, The position of the Pentecostal movement in Nigerian society and politics; Mr Afe Adogame of United States of America made a presentation premised on Evangelizing the world, evangelizing Nigeria – Pentecostal perspective.
Other speakers included: Pastor Opoku Onyinah of Ghana who spoke on Deliverance and Liturgies; Professor Adenike Emeke of the University of Ibadan who spoke onPentecostalism: Children and Women Vulnerability; Mr. Andreas of Switzerland spoke on Divine money – Prosperity theology’s material economy of Blessing and Rev. Fr. J Obi Oguejiofor on Pentecostal Movement before the Challenges of Socio-economic Problems in Nigeria. Bishop Anselm Umoren, the Auxiliary Bishop of Abuja’s paper was centred on The lasting challenge of mission and dialogue in Nigeria.
The participants acknowledged that while Pentecostalism has become a reality with its impacts on the Catholic Church, there is the need for a proper streamlining of the practice in consonance with the doctrine of the Catholic Church. The group also called for dialogue with the Pentecostals in the spirit of ecumenism; further deliberations on the subject matter between the Churches of the two countries (Germany and Nigeria), and the setting up of a group to study the perspectives of Pentecostalism in the country in all ramifications, with a view of having an organised mode of service in the Church.
Present at the programme were: Archbishops Augustine Akubeze of Benin City, Vice-President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria; Anthony J.V. Obinna of Owerri; Matthew Ndagoso of Kaduna; Joseph Ekuwem of Calabar; Gabriel Abegunrin of Ibadan and Felix Alaba Job, the Archbishop Emeritus of Ibadan. Also in attendance were: Bishops Lucius Ugorji of Umuahia, Emmanuel Ade Badejo of Oyo; Peter Adoboh of Katsina-Ala; Godfrey Onah of Nsukka, Michael Gokum of Pankshin and Alfred Anagbe CMF of Makurdi.
The opening ceremony was addressed by John Cardinal Onaiyekan of Abuja on behalf of the CBCN while Bishop Stefan Zekorn spoke in the name of the German Bishops Conference.
(Catholic News Service of Nigeria)
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