By Phil Okose, Onitsha
Worried by the spate of homosexuality and cultism in the society, no fewer than 30 newly ordained Anglican priests of the Diocese on the Niger, Anambra state, last Sunday, made a public vow not only to shun such vices but also to wage war against them and other similar criminal activities.
The priests, who had absolved themselves of membership of any secret cult or such deviance as homosexuality, vowed that they would never join any secret cult or encourage gay practice.
The diaconate ordination held at the Basilica of St Andrew’s, Onitsha, where the new priests avowed their allegiance to only Jesus Christ.
Their oath read: “I declare before God and His Church that I am not a homosexual/bi-sexual and I vow that I will not indulge in the practice of homosexuality/bi-sexuality and that if after this oath I am involved, found to be or profess to be a homosexual/bi-sexual against the teachings of the Scriptures as contained in the Bible, I bring upon myself the full wrath of God and subject myself to Canonical discipline as enshrined in the Constitution of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion.”
Giving stamp of credibility to the vow, they added, “If I go back on this oath and vow, I put myself under the wrath of God; in the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
The Bishop of the diocese, the Rt Rev. Dr Owen Nwokolo who conducted the ordination had earlier explained to the priests what he described as the duties and responsibilities of their calling.
The bishop said that as deacons, they are called to serve the church and God and to work with its members in caring for the poor, the needy, the sick and the weak who he said may be in some trouble.
“They are to strengthen the faithful, search out the careless and the indifferent and to preach the word in the places to which they are licensed,” he told the priests.
Bishop Nwokolo encouraged the priests to always do all they can to bring out the best in them in order to be good ambassadors of Christ and His church.
In the sermon that preceded the ordination, the administrative secretary of the diocese, Ven Dr Ikechukwu Ihemtuge, commended the young priests on their new status and pleaded with them to learn how to take care of their flock and not to devour them. He advised them to shun worldliness, competition, envy and spiritual laziness.
He reminded the ministers of the enormous task in what he called their mission field where he said a lot of idol worship, superstitions, greed, hatred, selfishness and ignorance abounded.