The Catholic bishop of Awka Diocese, His Lordship Most Rev. Dr Paulinus Ezeokafor, has said the Catholic church does not rely on tithes from members for its existence.
The Catholic prelate said the statement attributed to Gov. Yaya Bello that Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) were angry with the present administration because looters no longer paid tithes was unfortunate and selfish.
He said the governor should have addressed the issues raised by the CBCN rather than trying to scandalise the church which he said did not dwell on the doctrine of tithing.
‘Tithe is not a doctrine in the Catholic church, it is private to the individuals and you know it is an old testament way of life for believers.
‘You cannot get the Catholic church talking about tithes, the truth is that if we tell people to bring 10 per cent of their income and they all bring it as a matter of law, this Diocese will be heaven.
‘The catholic Church does not want to multiply the sins of the people because if you make tithe a law and they don’t bring it, it becomes a sin, just as in the case if Ananias.
‘We see the statement of Gov Yaya Bello as just trying to distract the people, the church has told the president the truth, if he likes let him listen.
‘Let them address the issues that were presented during the visit; need for equitable appointment, need for equal security for all Nigerians, the need to protect both the farmers and the herdsmen.
‘Nobody should talk about tithe here, how much is the person paying, the Gov in question is not even a Christian so he is not even competent to discuss it.
‘Let us tell ourselves the truth, these politicians should stop being selfish, their interest is what is important to them, they are ready to hit what ever will stand in the way of their selfish interest,’ he said. (REPORTED BY Abuchi Onwumelu)