“The Charismatic movement isn’t totally devoted to the Holy Spirit. What members do is simply to manifest the charisms of the Holy Spirit,” Fr. Atugba says.
The Cleric who also holds an additional two diplomas in Religious and Philosophical Studies and the other in Theology in which he has also obtained a Master's has categorized reasons behind the decline in devotion to the Holy Spirit in the Catholic Church as historical, Theological and Pastoral.
He observes that in the history of the Catholic Church, Theological reflections on the Holy Spirit were minimal as theologians of the fourth and fifth centuries paid more attention to tackling heresies in the Catholic Church at the time.
“The attention of Theologians in this period was on the person of Jesus Christ,” he says, and explains, “There were many erroneous teachings about Jesus that needed careful clarification and correction. Hence the decline in the interest and discussion on the Holy Spirit.”
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He also blames the decline on associating the Charisms of the Holy Spirit with the hierarchy of the Church and the association of the charisms with holiness.
“Persons who were regarded as worthy of receiving the Charisms were people like the monks, mystics and the likes. Other Christians seem not to see themselves as worthy of the Holy Spirit,” he says, adding that the belief is contrary to Scripture.
“The prophecy of Joel was: all flesh would receive the Holy Spirit through the grace of the Messiah,” he says.
Infant Baptism in the Catholic Church, Fr. Atugba also argues, separates “the Pentecost” from the sacrament since “babies cannot possibly manifest the charisms in an explicit way.”
In the book, he explains the meaning of Baptism in the Holy Spirit and distinguishes it from “a simple act of salvation.”
“It isn’t just a baptism of salvation but immersing ourselves in the power of the Holy Spirit,” he says.
To promote devotion to the Holy Spirit, the Cleric suggests a variety of measures, including an intense preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
“I have suggested to Bishops that there should be an elaborate ceremony for Confirmation to allow those to be confirmed adequate time to prepare for who they are yet to receive,” he says.
The 93-page book describes the substance of the Holy Spirit, who he is and why he should be known as “not just an ‘it’ but a person we can all relate with.”
Fr. Atugba’s book describes the nature of the Holy Spirit and is meant for Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
In the Nairobi Archdiocese, the book that is being sold in a fundraising initiative for the construction of a theater for medical procedures at Tangulbei Divisional Medical Programme (TDMP) can be obtained from St. Austin’s Catholic Parish at KSh.500 (appro. US$5.00).
This story was first published by ACI Africa on 7 March 2021