By Jessica Dogo
Abuja – The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has admonished Catholic Theologians to reflect and focus on globalization is affecting youths and other issues surrounding them.
Onaiyekan made the appeal at the 32nd Catholic Theologian Association of Nigeria’s (CATHAN) Annual Conference and Meeting that started on Wednesday in Abuja.
The theme of the three-day event is: “Youth Formation and Globalisation in the Context of Nigeria’’.
He noted that much had been said about the importance of today’s youth in the world, but not much was done about it; adding that globalisation was a key area to focus on.
“We must note that serious phenomenon of a great number of the enlightened youths, especially university graduates, are leaving the Catholic Church to join Pentecostal groups.
“Our situation is different from the western world where there are very few youths left in the church. They are not moving to other churches, but losing interest in the faith.
“The key is in an adequate and sustained formation in which they will not only be objects, but above all, subjects and active participants in their own formation,’’ he said.
He called on the theologians not to work only for the theological formation of youths in the Nigerian Church, but also for the Church worldwide.
In his remark, Rev. Msgr. Cletus Gotan, Dean, College of Education, Veritas University, Bwari, Abuja, called on parents to help youths avoid the enticing pressures from outside the home by being their role models.
Gotan called for the appropriate use of the mass media as means of globalising Christ’s Great Commission.
According to him, youths who do not attend church can still be reached through the mass media.
“Parents have the role to educate their children at the beginning of their lives.
“They must be firm and very selective in determining the channels that are suitable for children to watch.
“They are pressured outside their homes to participate in undesirable activities in an environment that competes with them in influencing their children’s mind to the wrong and misleading way,’’ he said.
He also called on the theologians to advocate and agitate for the much needed social change and total transformation in this era of globalisation among the youths.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the first CATHAN conference took place in Onitsha in 1985.
CATHAN focuses on what theology and Christian tradition bring to the development of the younger generation.