My name is Paddy Anyatonwu (2)
During this time under review, my local church was under Umuahia Diocese.
Naturally, the venue was Umuahia where the Bishop sits.
Unknown to me, my headmaster’s father was also summoned.
For those in their 50 years of age and above, a bishop was a demi-god with a large aura.
So, being summoned by a bishop was a big deal.
The conference room was illuminated with Italian lamps, and the walls were adorned with pictures of Jesus Christ.
The table was of a Cedar origin.
A large statue of Jesus Christ was conspicuously emplaced slightly above where the Bishop sits.
Five priests were present.
Headmaster did not come with his cane, but his eyes were piercing enough.
By 11 am, the bishop like an angel cladded in a white flowing robe godly walked in.
We all rose to our feet, bowed, and did a sign of the cross.
With grace and conscious grandeur, he blessed us.
I noticed that my father was visibly tensed.
He was perspiring around his forehead region.
Our eyes met, I dodged his penetration into my retina.
My father being an ardent Catholic had in his library litany of literature about the church.
Chief amongst them was the ‘History of the Catholic Church’.
Since I was going to meet the great Bishop, at least, I should be prepared.
I literally crammed this book.
I needed to convey to the headmaster that his son, though a fallen Christian, but could speak with clarity.
The Monsignor rose to his feet, bowed to the Bishop, ‘Nnukwu Ukochukwu’, and introduced the topic.
In his words, “His Lordship, this is a case of a fallen Christian. His name is
His father is also here.
His Worship, this lad must have read some unchristian books and he’s obsessed with faithless questions.
If we allow him, he might convert many like him”.
At this point, the headmaster was completely rattled, tried to say something, but the Bishop gesticulated at him to be calm.
My parish priest was also there.
He re-echoed what the Monsignor had said.
At a tail end of the conference hall was a burner supplying us with mystical fragrance. The incense was soothing to the Soul.
Suddenly, two questions were pumped into me.
- Do you believe in God and His Son Jesus Christ?
- Are you prepared to shun the lures of Satan and all he represents?
I rose to my feet, bowed to His Lordship, and paid my father a compliment.
“Can I say something before I answer the twin questions”, I demanded.
The Monsignor accented.
“Is it customary for the Catholic Church to kill or muffle those with dissenting views”?
I went on, “having gone thoroughly the History of the Catholic Church, the church killed more people than the lst World War.
Why didn’t God fight his battles?
The Bishop lowered his glasses, surreptitiously gazed at me, and rubbed his nose.
My father adjusted his seat as if an aggressive soldier and journeyed into his secluded arena.
To be continued…..