The Catholic Church on Tuesday frowned at the proliferation of private prayer ministries within the mother church and warned its priests to desist from it for unity of purpose.
The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale-Martins, sounded the warning in Lagos.
He made the Church’s position on private prayer houses outside the church known at the unveiling of the 33rd Nigeria Catholic Diocesan Priests’ Association Annual General Meeting.
“’The proliferation of prayer ministries in the Church is wrong and should be checked for unity of purpose. The Church has ways of worship and prayers different from ways of the private prayer ministries.
“Many of those prayer houses hold their attendants spellbound with the intention of exploiting them and in most cases their needs are not met prayer- wise.
“If you want to be a celebrity you do not have anything to do with priesthood; instead channel that your prayer ability into the Church and make the best of it in the Church rather than create a prayer variant of the Church,’’ he charged.
Mr Adewale-Martins noted that there was no other ministry to be followed and venerated other than that of Jesus Christ as represented by the mother church.
He noted also that the prayer ministries, especially when manned by a priest was a distraction to the flock and to the Church and should be discouraged.
The two-day session is a gathering of priests across the country to deliberate on pressing national issues.
It has “The Foundational and holistic reorientation of the Nigerian person, an urgent imperative for the Church and State,’’ as its theme.
Mr Adewale-Martins also described the prayer ministries as separatist spirits that did not mean well for the Church and for society.
He asked culprit priests not to stray into the development as it did not dignify their position in the society as God’s representatives on earth.
Mr Adewale-Martins charged the gospel preachers to use their calling for the benefit of society and for the glory of God and wait for God’s reward.