Invoke Holy Spirit “to correct erroneous understanding”: Catholic Archbishop in Nigeria

Credit: Abuja Archdiocese/Facebook

There is need to invoke the Holy Spirit to address misconceptions about “the promptings” of the Spirit of God, including the confusion around imaginations and false beliefs that conflict with reality, a Catholic Archbishop in Nigeria has said.  

In his Pentecost Sunday homily at St Ignatius of Antioch Parish of the Archdiocese of Abuja, Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama cautioned against “political prophets” who seek attention through “political speculations”, erroneously claiming “divine authority”.

“We invoke the Holy Spirit to help us correct the erroneous understanding among some Christians today who confuse their imaginations, dreams or psychological delusions with the promptings of the Holy Spirit,” Archbishop Kaigama said.

The Nigerian Catholic Archbishop added that those who confuse their imaginations and delusions with the promptings of the Holy Spirit end up engaging in speculations and “mundane predictions”, speaking “about politics and secular matters with dogmatic certitude; making categorical statements about which party or candidates will win elections.”

He said that instead of linking their misconceptions to the Holy Spirit and leading the people of God into error, they need to embrace honesty and say that their utterances are based on their own “political speculations.”


“Rather than say these are their political speculations, projections or rational calculations they claim divine authority! These mundane predictions often fall wide off the mark,” the Local Ordinary of Abuja Archdiocese said, adding that “those political ‘prophets’ are attention seekers trying to woo gullible people.”

He reflected on the Gospel of John about testing of spirits and cautioned the people of God against what he referred to as “momentary phenomena,” saying that it should not be confused with the action of the Holy Spirit.

“Let us realize that we could be led by the spirit of money, politics, drugs/alcohol, witchcraft or the evil spirit rather than by the Holy Spirit,” Archbishop Kaigama said.

He went on to describe the Holy Spirit as “the welcome guest of our heart, the Advocate who consecrates us in the truth and changes those in whom He comes to dwell, makes us one with God and never let us be separated from His love by distress, persecution or danger.”

The Local Ordinary of Abuja Archdiocese who started his Episcopal Ministry in Jalingo Diocese in April 1995 said that for the current “corrupt world” to undergo transformation, there is need for the Holy Spirit.

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“Today, we earnestly need the Holy Spirit, to bring about change and transformation in our corrupt world where violence, materialism and immortality dominate, and where many speak only the language of hatred, division and unbelief,” he said during his June 5 homily.

Archbishop Kaigama continued, “We need the wind and fire of the Holy Spirit to purify us. We implore our political aspirants to pay attention not only to their party manifestos, but also to the guidance of the Spirit of God as they vie for political offices.”

The 63-year-old Nigerian Archbishop said that the Holy Spirit is essential in the Christian life that is not only impossible but equally impracticable without His help.

Making reference to the Pentecost Sunday Gospel reading from St. John, he explained, “The Holy Spirit helps us to lead a life of righteousness; we need the Holy Spirit to enable us to make right choices. The Holy Spirit is a Teacher who reminds us of the teachings of Jesus Christ.”

Archbishop Kaigama highlighted some of the challenges in Africa's most populous nation including insecurity and criminality saying that the Holy Spirit will inspire values that will enable people to “uphold the sacredness of life.”


“Nigerians must beg the Holy Spirit to teach us to uphold the sacredness of life, especially today as blood is poured like water, people’s freedom and dignity violated by bandits, terrorists, kidnappers and other criminals, who capture people and keep them under inhuman conditions for monetary ransom or kill them outrightly,” he said.

Speaking further on the Gospel according to St. John, the Nigerian Archbishop underlined the role of the Holy Spirit in reconciliation. He said that reconciliation is necessary for love to exist among the people of God.

“Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained,” Archbishop Kaigama said, and explained, “This is a call to sacramental reconciliation in confession and the need to love and forgive each other in a world that is fiercely judgmental and vengeful.”

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.