Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Christ-centeredness, Altruism Sustain Eucharistic Nature of Church: Nuncio in Nigeria

 Catholic Diocese of Ondo - Wishing the Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, ARCHBISHOP  ANTONIO GUIDO FILIPAZZI, a very joyful 9th Episcopal Anniversary! May God  continue to bless you, Your Grace. | Facebook

The Apostolic Nuncio in Nigeria has emphasized the need for Catholics to build their lives on the person of Jesus Christ and to be guided by the spirit of altruism, saying that Christ-centeredness and having concerns for the wellbeing of others sustain the Eucharistic nature of the Church.

In his homily during Holy Mass marking the conclusion of the fifth National Eucharistic Congress in the West African nation, Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi said difficulties in the Church are often as a result of wrong attitudes of the baptized, including some “charismatic” characters.

“The Church which is born of the Eucharist and is constantly nourished by the Eucharist, must be a community in which we do not seek our interests but those of Christ and the true good of others,” Archbishop Filipazzi said during the Sunday, November 13 Holy Mass. 

Pope Francis’ representative in Nigeria added, “In the Church, one must not act driven by the interests of a family, an ethnic group, an association, an association, a religious institute, a parish, a diocese or a political party against and to the detriment of others but must always seek unity in truth, humility, charity and service.” 

Archbishop Filipazzi said that he finds it regrettable that though St. Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, calls for unity in the Mystical body of Christ, there are still divisions within the Church.

“How can one continue to foment within the Church contrasts, divisions, oppositions and partisanship of various kinds?” the Italian-born Apostolic Nuncio posed in his homily on the last day of Nigeria’s fifth National Eucharistic Congress that began on November 11.

He called upon the people of God in Africa’s most populous nation to use the Eucharistic Congress to foster unity in the words of Jesus in St. John’s Gospel, “May they be one, so that the world may believe”.

The Vatican diplomat also expressed concern about the Church’s challenges, which are mostly caused by her members, saying, “Difficulties in the Church community arise not only from external attacks, such as persecution or discrimination, which we rightly condemn. Instead, they come from the wrong attitudes of the baptized – Priests, consecrated persons and laity.”

He further said that some internal divisions in the Church are caused by some “charismatic” characters who make false promises and raise false hopes.

The Italian-born diplomat urged Christians to be cautious about those who testify falsehoods among members of the church. 

“Take heed that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them,” Archbishop Filipazzi said, citing Christ’s words in the Gospel Reading of the thirty-third Sunday, November 13. 

The representative of the Holy Father called on Catholics in the West African nation to remain united in the Eucharist.

“The Eucharist is the Sacrament that guarantees light and strength from above that we will persevere in remaining in the unity of the Church and in serving ‘the weak’, that is, to be more and more what we celebrate in every Holy Mass,” he said.

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