A Journal for The Contemporary Church

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There is Another Road


In my twilight years, I am wont to reflect on my past years and wonder with concern the direction in which the Church is moving. I was trained as a missionary priest and sent to Nigeria. This was
in the late sixties when that country faced ethnic problems which eventually led to the Biafran civil war. They were difficult times; they were dangerous times. Through decades of evangelisation, the
Church in Nigeria was very westernised. Newly ordained Nigerian priests followed the  Magisterium of the Church. As a teacher, I was often asked to give retreats in schools. Even then, I often wondered what the pupils made of rosary and benediction.
I was acutely aware of the poverty and hardship of the ordinary people. It was a shock to my  system, but it was a learning curve. I inwardly questioned the practice of payment for the sacrament of confession. In a nation based on a tribal system, their ancient customs and way of life had to give way to this western missionary zeal as if their identity to tribal values mattered little.