The Spiritual leader of the St Phillips Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Anambra State, which was raided by gunmen last Sunday leading to the death of 13 persons and several others injured has revealed the reason why the church does not investigate the source of income of its members.
The reaction comes on the heels of backlash suffered by the church following the attack which was linked to a gang related war between a South African based Nigerian man and another who reportedly donated to the building of the church.
The cleric and Bishop of the Nnewi Diocese, Most Rev Hilary Odili Okeke explained that the church does not investigate the source of income of those who give it offerings and donations.
Speaking on why the church does not conduct preliminary investigations before receiving such gifts, the cleric said: “If you get the information that the person is making his money through a dubious way in criminality, then you know what to do.
“It is not just a question of anybody who brings money or offers anything to the church, you go to the police and ask them to investigate this man’s source of wealth before you accept it. It is not done.
“If you do it, then even in the church we should not be accepting any money because evil people can come to church and give. It is God who knows if the person is giving the money from criminal or immoral source. God knows everybody and will reward the person accordingly. If you know that the person is a criminal that is when you now tell him, my man go and change.”
He also reacted to the call for his resignation by some parishioners as he stated: “They themselves will resign first. If they want me to resign, let them resign first. Let them resign.”
He continued: “People just open their mouth and begin to say what they like and you should not listen to all that people say.
“If people who know everything will come out and bring any criminality upon the bishop, bishop will take action, the church will take action. Not that someone opens his mouth to say whatever he likes. They are free to say whatever they want to say.”