Catholic Archbishop in Nigeria Faults Online Preachers Who “aggressively, viciously condemn the Catholic Church”

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama with candidates who received the Sacrament of Confirmation at St. Elizabeth Kogo Pastoral Area of Abuja Archdiocese. Credit: Abuja Archdiocese

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Nigeria’s Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja has faulted online preachers, who engage in negative criticism of the Catholic Church, including her “doctrine, traditions, and worship.”

In his Sunday, April 28 homilyat St. Elizabeth Kogo Pastoral Areaof Metropolitan See, Archbishop Kaigama said, “Occasionally, I see some social media preachers condemning Catholics aggressively; you would think their lives or salvation depend on how viciously they condemn the Catholic Church and its doctrine, traditions, and worship.”

The preachers, he added, “seem to be so angered by the presence of the Catholic Church in every nook and cranny of the world” and find it hard to understand the Church’s “organizational ability, hierarchical orderliness, uniformity of the sacraments, and the diplomatic finesse.”

Archbishop Kaigama said he finds it regrettable that these “preachers struggle so hard to portray Catholics as bad people, not even Christians, but satanic, and cultists,”and added, “Somebody must research why such pastors launch such violent verbal attacks on the Catholic Church.”

“Instead of preaching about the word of God, heaven, salvation, and love beyond frontiers, they emit bile and heap unprintable vocabularies on Catholics,” he lamented.


The Nigerian Catholic Church leader went on to highlight some of the attacks, including “not knowing the Bible”, and the misconception that “we worship Mary.”

“We don’t (worship Mary). We only honor her as God first honored her, followed by the Archangel,” he clarified, adding, “I tell Catholics that if they accuse you of ‘worshipping’ Mary, without fear or shame, burst into ‘Hail Mary full of Grace….’”

Archbishop Kaigama continued, “They attack us for not knowing the Bible: in their fanatical interpretation of the Bible, they believe the Bible dropped from heaven. We Catholics say it is the word of God written in the words of men.”

“They say, ‘sola scriptura,’ that it is only scripture that should guide us. Catholics say, that before the Bible was written, the Catholic Church was already flourishing,” the 65-year-old Catholic Church leader, who started his Episcopal Ministry in April 1995 as Bishop of Nigeria’s Jalingo Diocese said.

Referring to the Gospel of the Fifth Sunday of Easter in which Jesus describes himself as the vine, and his followers the branches, Archbishop Kaigama said, “What is most important to a Christian is not how expert you are in condemning your fellow Christians, but how much fruit you bear by being rooted in Christ.”

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Despite the attacks, “the number of baptized Catholics is on the rise, getting closer to 1.4 billion! Our Church continues to grow without much noise or fuss; no adverts, no promise of miracles, no material enticements, no pull him down (PHD) preaching; the grace of God is sufficient,”he observed.

He went on to cite the latest statistics reported in Vatican’s 2022 Statistical Yearbook of the Church, indicating a global increase of baptized Catholics “from 1.376 billion in 2021 to 1.390 billion in 2022, with a relative increase of 1.0%.”

“We call on our brothers and sisters who spend hours of their church service attacking the Catholic Church to devote more time to preaching love, to seek ways of living out practical Christianity to counteract the trending secularism, inhuman and unnatural behaviors, lack of respect for life, etc.,” he said, and added, “It is time to band together to tackle the roots of poverty, disease, violence, etc. Just be nice to people whether they are Muslims, Buddhists, or even pagans.”

Archbishop Kaigama further clarified that “Catholics come to worship not because of a personality who has become a cult, an excellent preacher, miracle worker, visionary, or prophet. We come to Church to commune with Jesus because we are convinced of His presence in the Eucharist.”

“May our lives reflect the love and unity that Christ calls us to, so that the world may know that we are His disciples,” the Local Ordinary of Abuja Archdioceseimplored on April 28 at St. Elizabeth Kogo Pastoral Area, where he conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation to 240 candidates and solemnized the marriage of 16 couples.


Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.