THE SERVANT GENERAL
ASSAULTS ON FAITH, FAMILY AND LIFE
PROBLEMS OF THE WESTERN CHURCH
March 8, 2018
The Spirit calls our Church to a New Evangelization. This
is precisely to address the problem of lapsed Catholics and
emptying churches. Our Church is losing Catholics by the day,
with no end in sight.
Giving Communion to those in irregular unions and being more
welcoming to homosexuals only aggravates an already bad situation.
This is also splitting our Church, between liberals and conservatives.
We must focus on evangelization and mission, and on the defense
of faith, family and life.
African cardinal: Empty churches, not ‘remarried’
divorcees is western church’s main problem
7, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – An
African cardinal said he is “astonished” to see
the church in the west fixated on “remarried”
divorcees and on welcoming homosexuals and not on the bigger
problem of empty churches.
In a March 2 interview with the Austrian public service broadcaster
ORF (ÖsterreichischerRundfunk), the Nigerian Cardinal
John Onaiyekan who is archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria
said he was “astonished that these are the themes that
people [in Europe] are concerned about,” referring to
the topics of “remarried” divorcees having access
to the sacraments as well as homosexuality.
Europe should be more concerned about the sad fact that “the
churches are getting more and more empty and that many people
are not any more coming at all.”
While Europe is increasingly secular, the Catholic Church
in Nigeria is growing.
When it comes to the question of the practice of homosexuality,
the cardinal said there exists a resistant consensus among
Christians and Muslims in his country. Onaiyekan explained
that homosexuality is rejected in many African countries,
including Nigeria, and is even legally forbidden.
The Church should not “demonize” homosexual people,
he adds, but the Church's doctrine is, for him, very clear
in this matter, “and to deviate from it is not an option,”
in the words of the ORF report. The cardinal also insisted
that it is not a sign of backwardness when the Catholic Church
in Africa refuses to “approve” of homosexuality.
The acceptance of same-sex relationships in Europe and North
Africa is “not progress,” he said.
When touching upon the controversy concerning Amoris Laetitia
and especially “remarried” divorcees and their
possible access to the Sacraments, the Nigerian cardinal said
that he explains to such couples that, while they may not
receive Holy Communion, they are still encouraged to come
regularly to Church.
“I tell them: 'You are not excluded.'” Onaiyekan
admits that it is sometimes difficult for him to keep some
of these couples away from the Sacraments, especially when
one of the spouses had been simply abandoned.
“Often, we cannot reach people with our ideals, but
that is not a reason for the Church to throw them overboard,”
It is not the first time that Cardinal Onaiyekan gently defends
the Church's doctrine on marriage and the family. In 2015,
the Nigerian cardinal himself had contributed an essay to
the Eleven Cardinals Book concerning this same topic.
At that time, he tried to convince the upcoming second Synod
on the Family to steer away from both the topic of homosexuality
and of Holy Communion for the “remarried” divorcees:
synod [on the family] has not been called to decide whether
or not divorced and remarried couples may receive Holy Communion.
This is certainly not the purpose of the synod. Nor has
the synod been called to discuss the issue of homosexuality
and whether or not two Catholic men or two Catholic women
can present themselves at the altar for marriage. […]
These are issues that are already clear in our doctrines.
Synods are not called to change the doctrines or teachings
of the Church.
In his March 2 interview, the African cardinal also touched
upon the problem of priestly vocations in the West.
“One should talk about the question as to why there
so few men who wish to become priests,” Cardinal Onaiyekan
“The fact should also worry us that it is not any longer
clear what it means to be a Christian,” he added.