The Director of Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Monsignor Gabriel Osu, reacting to Pastor Kumuyi’s proclamation about the celebration of Christmas, said:
“I don’t know what he means by saying the practice of celebrating Christmas is wrong. “Is he saying that Christ wasn’t born? That he didn’t come to die for us? Does he not celebrate his own birthday?
“Do Kumuyi’s pastors not celebrate him? It is not everything I react to; some people just seek attention. If Kumuyi is a Christian, then he must believe in Christ.
“The celebration of Christmas didn’t just start today; it is too public an event for anyone to say that they don’t know what it is about. If Kumuyi is condemning the commercialisation of Christmas, I can understand that. Christ came to redeem us from our lost state; this was actualised through his coming, his birth; that is why we celebrate Christmas. It is the fulfilment of God’s promise.
“I saw him on the television a few days ago. He was in Akwa Ibom State and was the chief preacher during their Christmas celebration event. Kumuyi is just saying what he feels; he is not making any doctrinal statement.”
On his part, the spokesperson for the Christian Association of Nigeria, Oshodi chapter, Lagos State, Pastor Barnabas Otoibhi, said that Christmas is worth celebrating. Otoibhi told Punch in a telephone interview that the origin of Christmas was not as important as its essence.
He said, “The origin of Christmas, as we know it, could be traced to Roman Emperor, Constantine. Christmas was a day for celebrating the Sun God. However, because Constantine was a Christian, the day was changed to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.
“The tradition has continued to date and since the aim of Christmas is to celebrate Jesus since there is nothing bad in honouring Jesus. Also, the worship of the Sun God was done in Rome and not everywhere in the world, so it is not part of our history.”
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