- Worshipers at a Roman Catholic parish in Anambra State who have not yet collected their PVCs have been banned from collecting holy communion.
- Rev. Father. Okonkwo, who leads the church, says it is a sin for citizens not to fulfill their civic duties
- He stated that God will not come down from heaven to choose a good leader for them if they do not allow God to use them as a vessel.
Anambra, Awka- A priest of the Roman Catholic faith has prevented many parishioners in his parish from participating in one of the church’s most important sacraments/doctrines, due to their obstinacy in picking up their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) before Saturday, February 25. presidential elections in Nigeria.
Legit.ng’s Anambra regional reporter Mokwugwo Solomon reported that the priest, identified simply as Rev. Fr. Okonkwo, in one of Anambra state’s Catholic dioceses, told his parishioners during a morning service (Holy Mass) on Tuesday January 17, that it is a sin for a citizen to neglect his civic obligation as stipulated by law.
The priest reportedly asked those who had not collected their own PVCs to come closer to the altar. When they did, the priest told them that from now on they were to stop receiving Holy Communion until such time as they were to have collected their voter cards.
The clergyman also announced that any of them who secretly receive Holy Communion in their parish or go to another place to do so without collecting their PVC has committed a mortal sin.
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He wondered why Christians, at a time when Nigeria desperately needs good leadership, should not prepare to elect leaders fearful of good.
Quoting Matthew 22:21; the priest said that even Jesus Christ himself was attentive to the ruling authorities and their civic duties, and urged the congregation and Christians in general to imitate the life of Christ.
To further reinforce his point about the need for citizens, and Christians in particular, to do the right thing, Fr. Okonkwo also quoted Ezra 7:26; Romans 13:11; Titus 3:1 and 1 Peter 2:13.
“Nigeria is currently at a crossroads, and the world is looking to Nigerians, and Christians in particular, to elect the best of leaders in 2023 to get the country out of its troubles.
“Christians must be at the forefront. We must not be seen as bystanders. We must all go out and collect our voter cards and exercise our civic obligations. Not only do it, we must use the power of our PVCs to enshrine leadership.”
Heaven helps those who help themselves. God will not come down from heaven to choose our leaders. No amount of praying for good leadership will work for us unless we select good leaders ourselves.
“The need to respect governing authorities is emphasized separately in Scripture. The need for Christians to fulfill their civic obligations is also emphasized separately in Scripture. Jesus led the way by paying His tax to Caesar. For Therefore, Christians should follow the example of Jesus. Anyone who neglects his civic duty has committed sin.”
In addition, he called on the federal and state governments to consider declaring holidays and possibly closing markets for a day or two, to allow merchants and government workers to collect their PVCs before the closing date.
He told his parishioners, who were prevented from receiving Holy Communion, not to view his move as punishment, but as a call to do the right thing.