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     Home > Ecumenism >  2013-11-26 13:17:21
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Pentecostal Churches don't pose any threat to Catholicism in Nigeria, Cardinal Onaiyekan

The existence of many Pentecostal churches is no impediment to the evangelization mission of the Catholic Church in Nigeria, nor is it a cause for panic. This was declared by Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, in a paper entitled "The phenomenon of Pentecostal Churches in Contemporary Nigeria" presented at the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Germany and the Pontifical Council for Promotion of Christian Unity, held recently at the Casa Pastor Bonus in Rome. The cardinal pointed out that "the flourishing of Pentecostal Churches is itself questionable. He said the constant splitting means that we cannot be sure where they are heading, and what future they have. In fact, we are still to see what happens when the founders die and succession takes place. Some cases, said Cardinal Onaikan, have shown that it is a problem that they still have to deal with".
The cardinal said that we need not panic or think that we shall all become Pentecostals sooner or later". In his report, the Cardinal traced the genesis of the Nigerian Pentecostal Churches from the beginning of the classical Pentacostals in England and America to the present day groups. He also identified some " strong points in their fellowship which can be of value to the Catholic Church, especially young people who are insecure and are looking for a breakthrough especially in jobs and employment". But he noted in his conclusion that even though there is much talk about losing members to these churches, there are no statistics in this matter. What we can say is that if the Catholic Church is losing members, other Churches are losing more than we are, he said.


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