Why People Leave the Catholic Church
The Priest: It’s either they let any willing billy enter the seminary or they don’t train them enough. Rule number one “A priest should never ever be a bore, never ever.”
Someone trained for years in philosophy should come out refined and should awe the crowd with each word that comes out his mouth. A priest must be pious, have charisma and most importantly have a sense of humor with an ability to connect dots. You are going to be talking to people the rest of your life; you must be good at it or be trained to be good at it. You can’t spend years studying good books, listening to old geniuses and bishops, touring cities on apostolic work and still turn out a pious, uncharismatic bore.
Catholic priests these days lack the essential qualities of a priest. Some are too lazy to put their back into the work, they come to mass to recite the same homily we have heard from CRK, catechism and other homilies. The effect- most people are sleeping through mass. I know a priest who puts his back into it and I site him as an example. Father John prepares notes for his homily prior to the mass. He reads, meditates and digests the word of God, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide his thoughts so he knows how best to convey the message to his flock. He links the readings to family, duty, politics-everyday life. The sweet priest links the homily to last night’s show on African Magic. That’s connecting…
We don’t have many Father Johns and AY-Stand-up-dry priests push people to the waiting arms of Pastors bursting with charisma (the success via tithe depends on it). They thrill their audience with their booming voice, gesticulations, thought provoking or inspirational quotes and their routine concerts.
The Choir: The idea of a Catholic Church remains- a large building, high dome roof filled with angelic voices as awesome windows let in celestial light. Angelic voices! Singing is praying twice and the singing is 2/3rd of the mass. Catholics pray say 16 times in one mass via singing with the songs designed to merge our souls with heaven. The choir should always always sound like an opera, Celine Dion, Sia, or Darey; harmony that soothes the soul. The trouble is most Catholic choirs sound like Yemi Alade, Chris Brown and co (it’s still singing right?). Our choir has strayed; perhaps they are obsessed with spicing things up and sounding more new generational. Drums, sound systems and microphones have replaced the voice. We need our voice back; imagine the combination-a boring priest and a voiceless choir. Catholicism is an ancient culture and we love our things just so; losing our voice spells damage for some people and leaves them prone to poaching by other churches.
Loss of Reverence: Maybe it’s the Latin, the Catholic Church has always felt like a holy ground. I’m sure you have noticed how no one greets each other when making ways into the pews. That’s how scared we are when we inside. The genuflection and the timing of entry and exit makes for a burning bush experience-in the presence of God. Presently the church is gradually losing its shrine feeling; we lose our Yanni-On-Sacred-Ground feel, we lose our church. More and more commercial activities happen in front of the altar, brings me to my next point….
Prioritizing Money: Uka bia nara ngozi (come and take blessing), building launch, mother’s day, church feast; all year round the church keeps on calling for contributions. There is no rest, no period to chill for voluntary donations. I wonder if all these are done in the Vatican. I witnessed the most distasteful fund raising exercise on All Souls Day; the priest said:
“The amount of money you give would show how much you love your lost ones and the level of heaven they would be in.”
Tha puck! A priest can say that? The present day Catholic Church in our country rush through the mass (30 minutes tops) to allow 3 hours of fund raising. If our beloved church is showing the same level of money consciousness as new generation churches, it gives you options right? Like Uche Ogbuagu’s bird- “Na dey same people.” Priests now own assets, schools, empires and private jets. Same difference?
Scandals: Stand out people in church are contributing to a widespread loss of faith. Priests are bedding prostitutes till Saturday night, elsewhere some are bedding mass server boys, the catechist is caught in adultery, Mary league harvests pre-wedding pregnancies (really like Maria eh) and legionaries are caught living wild (yours truly is guilty). Point is, we all need to double our efforts, know when we are beacons of hope and faith and do our best to act accordingly.
Society is crazy really, double standards. Case study:
Osinbanjo as Vice president is caught pants down in a hotel with whores—-Outrage! How can he disrespect the office of the VP…That’s a slap on the nation’s coat of arms…He must know better…
Osinbanjo the pastor, caught same way—-Don’t judge him, he is a man of God but he is human too…Cut him some slack, are you any better?
And so everyone is allowed to flaunt their sins, we are all above reproach in the house of the Lord for all have sinned and fallen short…No one can judge the other except God. So we keep mute on all our beacons’ terrible transgressions. King, Chris, Suleiman, John and Peter all ride the “Human too” chariot as more and more people lose faith in God. I put forward this theory:
“If people presumably close and dedicated to God can sin so BLATANTLY, sin so in your face; it therefore implies that they have delved so deep into the spirit and discovered Religion is a lie and there is no such thing as God’s wrath.”
To keep our church and indeed all churches everyone should toughen up against sin and know that we are inspiration to one another. We cannot commit sins “worse” than that of perceived pagans and sing praises at service.
The Fallacy of Non-Bible Study: Catholics get attacked all the time—“Your church doesn’t study the bible, you don’t read the bible.” Frankly some Catholics believe they actually don’t. First off, the bible as we know it (never mind the collection of books definition) is a book on which the word of God is printed.
Fact 1: The weekly/Sunday bulletin is a bible (a paper on which the word of God is printed). I am guessing innovated so all present at mass can read God’s word (For some people buying a bible-book is no easy task, some own encyclopedia heavy ones). Reading the bulletin is reading the bible.
Fact 2: If you attend mass everyday for a year (morning mass 1hour before work starts @ 8am and weekend masses), you would have covered the bible cover to back page.
Fact 3: There are Sunday evening bible classes in most parishes; Most Catholics refuse to attend
Fact 4: You are not expected to study the bible in church; you are expected to discuss the bible in church. Dig in when you are home, study your bible, pray for understanding then go for discussion and fellowship. Catholics should know that they have a complete 73 book compilation—the conventional extracted 66 plus 7 more (never mind the other books lost or discarded). They shouldn’t go elsewhere to find the bible. The book is right here with us. We own it.
Adoration and Over Zealous Charismatic Peeps: Some groups of Catholics are ruining our traditional solemn worship. People have begun speaking in tongues (language belonging to nothing on earth-dead or living…the apostles spoke in tongues to communicate, who are they communicating to? Heaven speak gibberish? Prayer has turned to noise and Warri like ginger, God needs to be provoked to action. People turn possessed demons when the Eucharist is raised; they twist, jerk and scream, feeling the power of Christ while the priest holds Christ in his arms unpossessed. Presently, the weekly adorations are the most attended meetings (Catholics even prefer it over mass-the highest form of prayer). From enjoying Chinedu-Nwadike moments to opening their own ministries, bam! The church blessed as one becomes divided factions.
Catholics stay home and find peace. Know your faith and you would feel whole. You would feel it. We have a lot of work to do to put things right. It starts with you and me.
What else do you think drives Catholics out of the Mother Church besides love and marriage?