Catholic Bishop in Nigeria Decries Mushrooming of “personal Healing Ministries”

Bishop Felix Femi Ajakaye of Nigeria's Ekiti Diocese. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ekiti in Nigeria is decrying the mushrooming of the “so-called private or personal ‘Healing Ministries’ and ‘Adoration Ministries’” in the West African nation.

In his homily on the second day of the National Pastoral Congress in Nigeria on Wednesday, November 9, Bishop Felix Femi Ajakaye said such ministries are introducing “unorthodox practices” in the liturgy of the Catholic Church.

“It is very unfortunate that in the Catholic Church in Nigeria today, there is proliferation of these so-called private or personal ‘Healing Ministries’ and ‘Adoration Ministries,’” Bishop Ajakaye said during the Holy Mass celebrated at St. Paul Catholic Parish of Benin City Archdiocese.

He added, “Unfortunately, with this great increase in number in such ‘ministries’, many unorthodox practices are being introduced into the Catholic Church’s worship and Liturgy through some people’s whim and caprices.”

The “personal” healing and adoration ministries have contributed to materialism including excessive love of money due to the loss of “spiritual aspect of harvest” among Parishes in the country, the Nigerian Bishop further said.


He called for respect for places of worship, saying, “We must treat God’s places of worship, the Church buildings, the temples, with reverence. The same thing is applicable to our celebration of the Liturgy and any form of worship. They must be solemn.”

“We must never be afraid to take a definitive decision as God’s temple with the Spirit of God dwelling in us. It is now or never,” Bishop Ajakaye said at the Holy Mass on the second day of the Pastoral Congress in Nigeria, and added, “Our gathering here is a unique opportunity to address the sickening and embarrassing situation in the Catholic Church in Nigeria.”

The National Pastoral Congress, which started on November 8 and is expected to end on November 11 has been organized under the same theme as the Synod on Synodality, “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission”.

In his opening address on November 9, Archbishop Augustine Obiora Akubeze said that the Church in Nigeria has responded to the Holy Father’s call and “has been engaged in listening to each other without censoring the opinion of anyone because no one has the monopoly of the Holy Spirit.”

The Local Ordinary of Benin City Archdiocese also spoke about the need to have “a Eucharistic Church” that embraces communion, participation, and mission.

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“It is only a Eucharistic Church that knows what communion means, it is only a Eucharistic Church that knows what participation means, it is only a Eucharistic Church that can fully embrace the mission of Christ,” the Nigerian Archbishop said at the meeting in which Catholic Bishops, Clergy, women and men Religious, the Laity and traditional and civil leaders are participating.

On his part, Archbishop Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji said the spirit of Synodality can be cultivated through interdenominational dialogue as a way of fostering “cooperation with people of other faiths.”

Archbishop Ugorji denounced killings in the name of God describing the vices as “sacrilegious and blasphemous” and underlined the need to take “Christian-Muslim dialogue in Nigeria very seriously.”

The topics for the second day of the Pastoral Congress included, “Cooperation and Unity among Christians: Challenges and Prospects of Ecumenical Movement in Nigeria Today” and “The Church and Youth Empowerment: Building a Community to Build the Society.”

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.