Paulinus Ezeokafor, a most reverend and the Catholic bishop of Awka Diocese, says vote buying and selling are grievous sins that are `unforgivable’.
Ezeokafor said this during this year’s seminar organised by Awka Diocesan Laity Council at a Retreat Centre, Okpuno at the weekend.
The prelate, while emphasising conscience during voting, noted that the rate at which people mortgage their conscience during voting because of money was a betrayal of trust and faith.
He urged all to always look at antecedents of politicians vying for elective positions before casting their votes.
“Vote rightly for the right people to come in. Anybody who sells his/her vote does not want the progress of our people, `nke anyi bu nke anyi’’.
“Our faith is highly challenged now. We should discharge our duties not only in politics but everywhere as `real salts of the earth and light of the world’,” he noted.
The bishop said that this year’s seminar with theme: “Christian Faith In The Turbulent Period’’, fits into the present situation in Nigeria.
“As salt of the earth and light of the world; give the world the true taste of virtue and holiness of life that it requires by helping to preserve our Christian faith against incessant attacks it receives from the world and its forces.
“As the light, the laity should be a guide for the people, leading them to God in different fields of human endeavour where they live and work.
“Without the Light, without Christ, all that is left is darkness and evil. To be true light to others, we must live upright and holy lives that make manifest our status in Christ,” he said.
In a lecture delivered by Bonaventure Anetoh, a reverend father, on witnessing to Christ in a world immersed in faithlessness, the priest said that Christians need to persevere and be ever ready to suffer for the sake of Christ.
He noted that witnessing to Christ entailed carrying the cross which could take various forms because it was an essential aspect of Christian vocation.
Melchizedek Obi in his lecture entitled: “Christianity And The Challenges of Neo-paganism’ in the 21st century urged the Laity to shun religious prostitution.
Obi said that in the face of crisis of faith and religious identities, which posed more challenges to Christianity in this century, Christians would be expected to sit up so that the wind of French revolution might not blow in Igboland.
He expressed disappointment that many young people were publicly professing unbelief, even in the social media, saying that Christians ought to fall back to God with faith.
“We must have to go back to the point of being Christians from the heart. Jesus remains our model. I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the father except through me,” he said.
Michael Muonwe, the Diocesan Laity’s chief chaplain, commended the bishop for his spiritual, fatherly and brotherly solicitude.
He urged the participants to maximise this opportunity to make themselves better equipped for the work of evangelisation and bringing of souls closer to God as true salts of the earth and light of the world.
Earlier, Joseph Igwebuike, the Diocesan Laity president, in his address said that this year’s theme was carefully chosen due to the prevalent crisis in Nigeria to enable them to reflect on their core values as Christians.
Igwebuike noted that evangelisation was not only for the Apostles, Priests and the Religious but by baptism; lay faithful were partakers in the evangelisation of the good news.
The president while soliciting for funds to enable them to build a secretariat to reach the grassroots prayed that the participants would utilise all that they learnt in the service of God and Humanity.
Installation of patrons featured during the event.
– Sept. 18, 2018 @ 18:55 GMT |