Francis Cardinal Arinze Francis Cardinal Arinze
Prefect of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Roman Curia
Cardinal Priest of S Giovanni della Pigna
Nov 01, 1932
May 25, 1985
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English Thanks Cardinal Arinze, we will be good citizens
Jun 07, 2005
A good Christian is a good citizen indeed. Francis Cardinal Arinze of Nigeria could not have been more right in that when he preached to a Tabata Catholic congregation in Dar es Salaam recently.

(Guardian/Tanzania, 04 Jun 2005) The Vatican`s high-ranking official said that believers cannot say that they are good Christians if they cannot abide by the law.

The law is not only the commandments of God, but by fulfilling the divine stipulation, one abides by the secular directive.

God`s law is ingrained in the laws of the state, and if some people say they are good Christians, there is no way they can do that without manifesting their good citizenship through obedience to the requirements of the state.

Conversely, they cannot say they are good citizens if they do not abide by the will of God.

The will of the Almighty is simple but strict. You do it and you are good. You don’t and you are bad.

It is through this law of God that man can and indeed will manifest his virtuous deeds.

Often enough we have heard of a proud declaration by a citizen, who has successfully evaded paying tax.

This kind of man cannot be a good Christian for God forbids tax evasion.

We find illustration of His approval of taxation in an encounter of Jesus Christ with the Pharisees.

On one occasion they schemed to trap Jesus and showed Him a coin, asking him to tell them whether it was right to pay tax or not.

``Whose likeness is that on the coin?`` Jesus asked them.
They answered and said the figure was that of Caesar.

``Then pay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.``

That simply means paying tax is not bad. A Christian at that, who wants to get free service from the state or who does that without paying for it when it is a duty to do so, is committing a punishable crime.

Arinze spoke as a Christian but there are other religions too that worship the Almighty.

In that context, all roads lead to Rome and believers of these other faiths too cannot say they are good members of their religions if they do not abide by the laws of the state.

Only the other day we read about and saw the picture of a boy whose hands had been bound with a string by a relative, doused with paraffin and then set alight for having stolen something.

Such cruelty runs counter to the will of God. To be so unkind to a child just because the child is alleged to have stolen a couple of coins, is an offence against the state and far from being the will of God.

Children today have fallen victim to evils by the very people they trust as their guardians. The resort of a child is the society. The last are a child`s parents.

Of late we have heard of acts of Sodom and Gomorrah upon these little ones who look on us for protection and direction.

On May 25 this year Resident magistrate William Mtaki sentenced 39 year-old Paulo John to life in prison for sodomising his 9-year old son over a period of eight months.

“It seemed the boy could not take it any more and that was probably why he fled to my home,” public witness and Kimara Matangani 10-cell leader, Elimwambie Kimaro, told the court.

There can be no doubt that Paulo is as much a bad citizen as he is a bad Christian.

The act of having turned against his own flesh and blood with the wrath of a barbarian and subjected the little boy to so much anguish could not have made him a darling of the Almighty.

The fate of the two cities of Sodom and Gomorrah illustrated the wrath of God upon those who perform the heinous act of sodomy.
The Almighty so detests the aberrant sexual act that He punishes it severely.

Yet the church appears to be turning into a haven of sodomy. Do we remember consecration a homosexual bishop in America? Have we forgotten the sodomy scandal of the Roman Catholic Church in the US where some priests were suspended and the church settled a couple of the cases by paying millions of dollars? As believers we must be good citizens to change this period of darkness.

And now, there is a pending case at Kisutu magistrate court, where a Dar es Salaam Catholic archdiocesan priest Sixtus Kimaro is alleged to have sodomized a 17-year-old boy. Whether that is true or not, the court of law will tell us.

We understand elephants kiss may be as a sign of love as humans do. But one thing is certain.

Of the sexual act, it is man alone that practises sodomy. Other animal species do not. Where have our ethical principles gone?
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