The Catholic Church in Nigeria has rejected the apology by Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State over his utterances on the Pope.
According to the group, which operates under the auspices of the Mass Servants Association of Nigeria (MSAN), the governor must demonstrate his repentance by going on a 40-day fast and resigning from his position as the Director-General of the All Progressives Congress presidential campaign council.
Remember how the governor allegedly made "blasphemous" remarks about the Holy Father and then apologized to the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria?
He pleaded for pardon and understanding from the Catholic Church via the Bishops' conference while acknowledging that it was a mistake on his part to have connected the Catholic Pontiff with Nigeria's politics.
However, the MSAN insisted that Lalong atone for his actions and return every cent received from the organizers of the Muslim-Muslim ticket in a statement signed by Moses Idoko.
According to Idoko, the governor should go a step further and resign as the DG of the APC’s presidential campaign council to show true repentance.
Idoko quoted the Canon Law, saying “Lalong must confess to the priest for reconciliation with God and with the Catholic Church."
He added that “even though God is merciful and forgiving, he does not declare the guilty to be guiltless (Ex 34:7)."
“Sin carries with it a need for expiation even after it has been forgiven." After David sinned, the prophet Nathan told him: "The Lord, on his part, has forgiven your sin: you shall not die; but since you have utterly spurned the Lord by this deed, the child born to you must surely die" (2 Sam 12:13–14).
“The Catholic Church understands Jesus’ death as expiation for the sins 'of the whole world’ (1 Jn 2:2). This, though, does not eliminate the need for expiation of the effects of sin. In the sacrament of confession or reconciliation, penance helps to remedy the disorders caused by sin (CCC 1459). Because sins often harm others, simple justice also requires doing what is possible "to repair the harm".
“In the case of Lalong, he has blasphemed." He showed alarming disrespect to God and the Pope. The governor made sacrilegious remarks about God and our spiritual leader.
“Exodus 22:28 states, 'You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler (Pope) of your people’. Such blasphemy is subject to punishment by death. For, to revile God (or those whom he appointed) was to call into question the integrity and holiness of God himself.
However, Lalong has apologised and claims to have repented. But his supposed show of remorse is not enough. He must prove it with action.
“First, the governor must embark on a 40-day fast and prayer to seek forgiveness. He must crave the face of God for turning against his people by supporting a seemingly doomed and demonic alliance.
But most importantly, Lalong must denounce the APC presidential ticket. He must openly condemn this evil that could potentially destroy the nation. Except these are done, the governor’s purported apology will still be seen as a charade. "God can’t be mocked.”