Support Priests to keep their vows, Bishop tells family and friends
The Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta, Most Rev. Dr. Peter Olukayode Odetoyinbo has called on families and friends of priests to assist them live their priestly ministries by keeping to their vows as stipulated in the code of Canon law, saying that only this will give them satisfaction in their chosen vocation.
Bishop Odetoyinbo made this call in his remark at the Diaconate ordination of Reverends Joachim Olaoye, John Onyimba and Anthony Oluwasina at St Cosmas Catholic Church, Benja, Ota, Ogun State on Sunday 11th April, 2021.
The Bishop said that the promise of obedience by priests to their Bishop and his Successor on the day of ordination is total submission of their lives to Christ and the Church, stressing that lay faithful should be careful when they come between the bishop, priests and deacons, saying that the bond they share is spiritual and cannot be broken.
He therefore called on parents and friends to steer clear of the lives of the priests, but they should look for the truth and not try to be on the side of the priests because he is their son or friend.
“Let them live and abide by the vows they took at Ordination. Neither the parents nor friends signed with them on the day of their ordination, so when they go against the vows they swore to, the Church should help them to refocus. They swore to obedience, poverty and chastity, so they should be allowed to live their vows. Lay faithful have no business in the life of obedience, poverty and chastity the priests swore to, rather they should help them to keep their vows”
He added, “if the bishop and priests can make sure that all marriages are intact, the lay faithful should as well should assist the priests to live their priestly vows, saying that those ordained as priests are adult”.
Expressing his displeasure over Catholic families taking the Church to court over priests’ properties, Bishop Odetoyinbo said many priests have enriched themselves to the extent that their families take the Church to court over inheritance of such priests after their demise.
He said “we drag ourselves, the Bishop to court over properties of priests who worked in the Church. Where did he get the wealth, if not from the Church, by the Church and for the Church?
Bishop Odetoyinbo noted that priesthood is not for business. “If they are to do business, they will not be ordained as priests or else they will be made permanent deacons for life”.
He urged parents and friends to be careful not to push priests to the extent that at the end of their lives, the parents and friends now take the Church to court.
The Chief Shepherd narrated how he was portrayed in a secular newspaper and on social media that a particular family has taken the Catholic Bishop of Abeokuta to court over the inheritance of a priest.
He stated that as a bishop, anything he has, belongs to the Church even his corpse. So none of his family members can come and claim any inheritance after his death because everything he has belongs to the Church”. He said “people give to priests because they are priests and once they seize to be priests, they will stop giving. So when the priest dies, family members should leave him to the Church where he belongs”. He urged them to shun evil acts. “If you profess one, holy and apostolic church, and you take the Church to court(civil court) that means we do not believe what we profess. We are still alive but that is what we believe because whatever is considered bound on earth is also considered bound in heaven”. “Parents should know their limits once priests are ordained. They belong to the church and not to their parents anymore. He concluded
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