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I am a dyed in the wool Catholic. I was born in it, baptized in it as an infant and grew up in it. I went to a Catholic primary school, sang in the choir and from there went to a Catholic secondary school. In the university, I remained a Catholic! At sixty something years and still counting, I have remained in there: an ardent Catholic!

Now one of the very things that has kept me here as a Catholic is the intellectual foundation of this church. More than anything else, the survival  of this gathering over a thousand years, sometimes mired in stress, antagonism, backbiting, dictatorship, coups, outright power tussles etc. can only be traced to the Church’s intellectual foundation. Make no mistake about this: the Catholic Clergy throughout history has been led by brilliant people. The likes of me are fascinated by brilliant people and not the wishy-washy characters that shout about Holy Ghost fire!

Now: “for thou art Peter, upon this rock…” As usual, those reading this may jump into their own interpretation. But I have mine, a solid one. The rock is the solid foundation of structures! When you build a structure, there is a process, a method. In this case, the foundation is “the Word”. And this word is intellectual. Hey am I making sense here? Haha ha! It is this intellectual creativity of “the word” that my Church is built. And it saved it. This is also why the United States of America has remained a world power. More than 200 years, the piece of writing known as the constitution of the union has remained the solid rock of American democracy! Talk about the word: “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal….”  Hey this was God’s instruction from the very beginning?

Now from what I am noticing these days, the Catholic Church is fast losing this intellectualism. Some young priests behave as if they underwent a crash programme to become ordained! These priests who operate mostly in the villages in the midst of poverty want to outdo the so called “Pentecostal” pastors in theatrics and hypnotism! Last Sunday I beheld, spell bound, as a young priest displayed the abracadabra of a magician: ordering the congregation to clap for Jesus, wave, shout, kneel, and mutter in the spirit, groan…Holy Ghost fire! He led his congregation through a long spell of chanting, and so called spirit search and the poor things were shouting approval urging him on! The Mass that should not take 1hr, 30 minutes was dragged to 4 hours!

But my question is this: if the “Pentecostal” mode of worship is now the in thing, why dont we go to where the thing is properly done? This poor imitation looks to me very counterfeit. Very soon people like me will stay away from “Aja Missa” and look for where the shouting is awesome and original!

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