For purpose of saving the image of the Mother Church and the people of good conscience, Father Mbaka is in dire of “pastoral, study and sanctification classroom leave”. He is also in dire need of fresh ideas including post priesthood bachelor’s degree or post graduate studies and qualifications. He must be transformed from “trader-priest” to “priest of scholarship and eminently spiritual background” and not allowed to return to Nigeria until he completes a doctorate degree in any chosen or assigned discipline.
Father Mbaka had in the course of his pastoral or pulpit sermons, probated and reprobated with reckless abandon; relying on unverifiable, unscientific, unsubstantiated and uninvestigated information from his followers; most of whom “persons living with limited education”. A clear case in point was the “Ohakim episode” in Imo State, which later turned out to be false, leading to belated open apology to the injured. There is also the “Jonathan episode” of 2015 and now “exposed Atiku episode programmed for 31st December 2018”.
The Third Vatican Council or Conference is, therefore, direly and urgently needed at The Holy See by the Mother Churchto address a myriad of challenges facing the global Catholic Church and its worldwide population of 1.285b (2015). The Third Vatican Council is also necessary so as to tackle similar challenges facing the entire Christians worldwide with estimated population of 2.2b (2010).
This is more so when the Catholic Church remains the “Mother Church” and global leader of the followers of Jesus Christ and his teachings. Any moral decadence affecting or afflicting the Church automatically affects or afflicts the entire Christians worldwide. One of these teething challenges is the excesses of some ordained Catholic priests which must be curbed before it becomes too late and intractable.
Immoralities including crude materialism, obsessive commercialism, misinterpretation and distortion of the gospel, among others became more menacing in the House of God following “the failure of the second mortal or immortal coming of Jesus Christ or end of the world biblical revelation projected to take place in the year 2000”.
As a result, immoralities have since then gone wild and become uncontrollable. And instead of the clergies and other leaders of the Christian faith taming the monsters righteously, they have relapsed; resorting to biblical loopholes to justify them as “normal and appropriate”. Following these, “road to righteousness, holiness and heaven” has become threatened or undermined; with priests, pastors and other clergies “beginning to build their paradises on earth” and churches getting brutally misled, misdirected and bastardized with reckless abandon.
It must be stated that the grave mistake made by leaders of the global Christian Faith especially the Papacy or The Holy See was failure to convoke “Third Vatican Council or Conference which ought to have been called not only to reaffirm faith and belief in God and the teachings of Jesus Christ, but also to address teething challenges facing the Mother Church and other churches since “the failed second mortal or immortal coming of Jesus Christ and end time in the year 2000”.
We therefore make bold to say that the recent “Mbaka episode” in Enugu was not an isolated incident, but a clear case of intensification and escalation of litany of immoralities running riot on the congregation of nowadays Christian priests and pastors who have turned the House of God into “gambling and cash and carry arenas”. These “mercantilist games played in the House of God” bear similar outlook with games played by politicians, called “the psychology of politics” or political trading and gambling.
It is on record that one of the greatest challenges facing the Mother Church or Catholic Church particularly in Africa and Nigeria is introduction of “priestly ministries” or “adoration ministries”. Patterns and trends associated with “Catholic priestly ministry” particularly in present Nigeria clearly indicate that it is nothing short of “trading and gambling using the name of God”.
For every “priestly ministry” set up, it is 95% for prosperity or materialism and 5% or less for salvation or righteousness. Banking on teeming “miracle seekers” in their tens or hundreds of thousands per ministry as well as the country’s myriad of socio-economic challenges, such congregants are rapaciously brainwashed with bogus promises of solutions to their “problems”; using same to swindle or rip them.
Politicians including candidates of political parties troop to such “adoration or crusade grounds” during electioneering for purpose of meeting large crowd gathered; without pausing to ask or determine whether they have PVCs or not. “Muoka Crusade” is one of such arenas attracting hundreds of thousands or millions of people, yet many, if not most do not have voters’ cards or vote on Election Day.
Therefore, it is specifically important to note that most of these “priestly ministries” or “adoration grounds” do not have electoral or voting value as most of those patronizing or attending such “adoration ministries or crusades” do not have permanent voters’ cards. Few that obtained theirs did same not for the purpose of voting during elections but to escape possible government sanction or to use them in transacting businesses. We have severally advised strongly against political candidates attending and campaigning on “adoration or crusade grounds”.
Records have also shown that once politicians are invited to donate their largely ill-gotten wealth and have same done, case closed. This is more so when the proprietors of such ministries hardly encourage or mobilize their followers to perform their civic duties on Election Day by conscientiously voting candidates of their choice and outside inducement.
Where they rarely do, it is for material gains on the part of the proprietors of such “adoration ground” or “crusade ministries”. Donation and acceptance of ill-gotten wealth as the motive behind invitation of politicians to visit “adoration ministries/grounds” or “crusades” has also robbed such arrangements of parameters and opportunities for the best candidates to be “spiritually screened”, invited and drilled by Christian leaders over their “social contract” with the people if voted into office.
Totality of these and more explains our call for convocation of the Third Vatican Council so as to review, expand, upgrade and fortify the Catholic Dogma and ethical codes guiding the conducts of the Church clergy. In the Catholic Church, a dogma is a definitive article of faith (de fide) that has been solemnly promulgated by the college of bishops at an ecumenical council or by the pope when speaking in a statement ex cathedra, in which the magisterium of the Church presents a particular doctrine as necessary for the belief of all Catholic faithful.
Convocation of the Third Vatican Council or Conference has, therefore, become compelling and inevitable to address the myriad of challenges facing the Mother Church and the entire global Christian population since “failure of Jesus Christ to mortally return for second missionary journey in the year 2000”.
These teething challenges ravaging the Christian world today include rabid commercialization of the gospel or teachings of Jesus Christ and brutal distortion of same for material primitivism. Combined negative effects of these have disenchanted tens of millions of Catholic and other Christian faithful in Nigeria and Africa and undermined their faith in God. They have further destroyed moral values and uprightness in the Mother Church and other churches and elevated moral decadence to maddening levels or dimensions.
The teething challenges ravaging the Mother Church capable of being tackled by the Third Vatican Council under demand include misinterpretation and distortion of the gospel, materialism in the Church, priesthood and materialism, priesthood and homosexuality, priesthood and marriage, priesthood and politics, priesthood and ethics, priesthood and dogma of faith, sisterhood and marriage, sisterhood and lesbianism, ecumenism, Church and jihadism, church and fanaticism, church and politics, church and economy, church and ICT, Church and internal and global insecurity, Church and customs and Church and traditional religions, etc.
It is recalled that the last Vatican Council, knownas the Second Vatican Council or Vatican II, addressed relations between the Catholic Church and the modern world. The council, through the Holy See, was formally opened under the pontificate of Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and was closed under Pope Paul VI on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December 1965. Attendance varied in later sessions from 2,100 to over 2,300. In addition, a varying number of periti (Latin: “experts”) were available for theological consultation—a group that turned out to have a major influence as the council went forward. Seventeen Orthodox Churches and Protestant denominations; in addition to Catholic Lay Council sent observers. More than three dozen representatives of other Christian communities were present at the opening session, and the number grew to nearly 100 by the end of the 4th Council Sessions.
According to Pope Benedict XVI, the most important and essential message of the council is “the Paschal Mystery as the center of what it is to be Christian and therefore of the Christian life, the Christian year and the Christian seasons”. Other changes which followed the council included the widespread use of vernacular languages in the Mass instead of Latin, the subtle disuse of ornate clerical regalia, the revision of Eucharistic prayers, the abbreviation of the liturgical calendar, the ability to celebrate the Mass versus populum(with the officiant facing the congregation), as well as ad orientem(facing the “East” and the Crucifix), etc.
Of those who took part in the council’s opening session, four have become popes: Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini, who on succeeding John XXIII took the name Pope Paul VI; Bishop Albino Luciani, the future Pope John Paul I; Bishop Karol Wojtyła, who became Pope John Paul II; and Joseph Ratzinger, present as a theological consultant, who became Pope Benedict XVI.
The First Vatican Council, which was the 20th ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church had taken place from 1869–70 and was convoked by Pope Pius IX to deal with contemporary problems including controversies thrown up by rationalism, liberalism, materialism, inspiration of Scripture and papal infallibility, among others.
Pope Paul VI (June 1963-August 1978) had in his opening address on 29 September 1963 stressed the pastoral nature of the council, and set out four purposes for it: (1) to define more fully the nature of the Church and the role of the bishop; (2) to renew the Church; (3) to restore unity among all Christians, including seeking pardon for Catholic contributions to separation; and (4) and to start a dialogue with the contemporary world.
During this period, the bishops further approved the constitution on the liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, the decree on social communication and Inter mirifica, among others. Work went forward with the schemata on the Church, bishops and dioceses, and ecumenism.
For: Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Emeka Umeagbalasi (Board Chair)
Chidinma Udegbunam (Head, Campaign & Public