Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, His Eminence, Cardinal Francis Arinze, has decried quest for materialism and high level corruption in places of worship in the country.
According to him, religion is neither a commodity for market nor an arrangement for financial betterment.
Arinze, who was former Prefect for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacrament in the Vatican, said religion should be about love for God and neighbours.
Speaking on the topic, ‘Proliferation of Churches in Nigeria,’ the priest said it was left for Christians to make efforts to see that there was Christian unity.
He also expressed regrets about the high level of corruption in the country, despite multiplicity of religious bodies.
“Jesus Christ prayed that those who believe in him may be one, and instituted only one church, so, there is no doubt that multiplicity of the religious bodies is against the will of God.
“Proliferation of the churches has not really benefited man, because for some people, it may be capable of gathering those with a particular state of need.
“People with need for babies, marriage, progress in their business, healing in their sickness, they may have spiritual problems or they just want to read the Bible and get it interpreted in a way they like because there is another way it is interpreted elsewhere they do not like.
“Jesus Christ recommended one flock, one Shepperd to ensure plenty of attention to people’s problems and needs, Catholic Church in Japan, England, America and Italy may not be the same but believe in one God.
“Jesus Christ instituted one church, so having up to ten thousand churches in Nigeria is alarming. However, if that is the case, the nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine came out of one church He instituted.
“If Nigerians are having many churches and they are still corrupt, lack of love for God and neighbours, and steal what belongs to the public, then we must conclude that they are not following what God is preaching, and the teaching of Jesus Christ.
“If Nigerians love God and their neighbours, the country will become a minor paradise; bribery, corruption, kidnapping and political backstabbing will stop; people will be content with what they have,” Cardinal Arinze said.