The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Metropolitan See, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, has stated that worshipping God through television is very deficient.
Kaigama also explained the turnout of worshippers to churches was a big message to the government and other stakeholders that spirituality is important in combating COVID-19.
Kaigama, who was received by the Parish Priest of Holy Cross Catholic Church, Gwarinpa, Abuja, Rev. Fr. Rowland Nwakpuda, explained that the resort of the federal government to solely focusing on medical and scientific approaches in fighting COVID-19 while discarding the spiritual aspect has not been helpful.
Kaigama cautioned Christians who think that worshipping God through television was sufficient, stressing that such approach has great consequences on the spiritual life of the people.
“If you think watching television is adequate, I think there is something deficient in you and your understanding of Catholic spirituality and liturgy,” he stated.
The Archbishop observed that the decision by the government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to reopen churches was very important.
He stated that with the opening, “reason has prevailed, even the government has seen the great importance of a spiritual approach to this crisis. They were attempting to solve it from the medical point of view, scientific point of view and other social issues that they felt were of utmost importance.
“But they forgot that the spiritual is a great aspect that they should have considered. Now that we are allowed to worship they would see the difference. God will do something, I can tell you.”
Kaigama added: “To starve people of communal worship wasn’t very helpful; yes we are aware we needed to take all the precautions. Now that things seem to be going fairly well, people are allowed to worship; we thank the federal government and thank all those who have intervened.
“They will see the difference. God will intervene, through our individual prayers and through our liturgical assembly. So, let’s wait for God’s intervention, it’s already taking place and more will come.
“People will be so weak and unconcerned, really not interested in spiritual matters, church matters but you can see spiritual hunger of the people, you can see the enthusiasm in their faces.
“You cannot starve people of their spiritual nourishment, they know that they need food, they need bread, they need money to survive, but the spirit is so important, man is made up of mind, body and soul.
“The spirit is there, so that element was lacking. You can see today, the attendance of people observing social distancing and face masking can see the enthusiasm.
“It’s a big message to government and all who care and those in the world we think they are powerful, is a message that you can’t exclude the spiritual. The spiritual is a core element of humanity, you can’t exclude.”