By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
The Chief Shepherd of the Catholic Diocese of Awka, Most Rev Paulinus Chukwuemeka Ezeokafor, has again decried the resort by Christians to pagan practices, warning that such neo-paganism practices are destroying the Christian faith.
Bishop Ezeokafor, who gave the warning in his homily of the Holy Mass to mark his pastoral visit and the 2021 Fathers’ Sunday Celebration at St Simon’s Catholic Parish, Ukpo, Dunukofia LGA, Anambra State, last Sunday, May 2, insisted that God was the supreme being whom every Christian should worship and follow.
Wondering what was edifying about idol worship, the bishop flayed young people, who, he said, ventured into paganism after they failed in their businesses and work, claiming they had the calling to worship the idol of their kindred or community. According to him, if such calling was anything to go by in the modern world, the youths were not supposed to be those to be called.
He charged Christian fathers to live up to their responsibilities as heads of the families and play their part in proper formation of their children.
The bishop emphasized the need for parents to lay good Christian foundations for their children at their early stages in life so as to guard them from derailing from the right path.
Citing the story of Eli, the high priest, in the Bible, who died due to the waywardness of his children, the Catholic prelate insisted that it was also the responsibility of the fathers to ensure that their children and wards were given proper formation. The bishop enjoined fathers to create time for their children, develop themselves spiritually, teach their children how to pray and pay attention to their spiritual growth. He described as negligence of duty, occasions where fathers abandoned the training of children to the mothers alone, insisting that child formation was the responsibility of both parents.
Bishop Ezeokafor, who agreed that the man ought to be strict in the training of the children, however warned fathers against creating avenues for their children to label them wicked persons, lest they lose their confidence.