Chimamanda Adichie was briefly engaged in a face-off with a Catholic priest who didn’t hide his unhappiness over her statements against Catholicism in a recent interview.
She has replied a Catholic Parish Priest who verbally attacked her over comments she made about the Catholic church in Nigeria.
This attack and reply happened during her mother’s funeral mass in Abba community of Anambra state.
The celebrated author who revealed that she left the church angrily over the Parish Priest’s verbal attack, said she came back to explain what she said during the interview about the Catholic Church in Nigeria because Abba community and the Catholic Church in the community mean a lot to her.
Adichie noted that the Parish priest has had several opportunities to call her privately to explain her stance but never did. She also added that Priests are meant to guide parishioners and not attack them.
Recounting how the priest alleged that she said she doesn’t attend Catholic Church in Nigeria because it is all about money, she explained that what she said in the interview is there are good things about the Catholic Church but she doesn’t like when people are forced to give money.
The author also gave an instance of witnessing parishioners being locked out because the church was holding a fundraiser. Adichie concluded by saying that people should not be forced to give money, but to support the church willingly.
What She Said About Catholic Church
Chimamanda has expressed her thoughts about Catholic church in an interview that went viral. Here’s excerpt from that interview which was posted to Punch online.
She made this known in her piece titled ‘Dreaming as a single family’ published in the latest edition of the L’osservatore Romano weekly bulletin, released on Friday (July 9).
Giving a brief introduction to her early years in Catholic, Adichie wrote, “I was raised Catholic, on the campus of the University of Nigeria. We attended a love-filled church run by the Spiritan congregation.
“As a teenager, I wore my Catholic identity like a favorite dress, joyfully and reverently. I was a self-styled Catholic apologist, arguing passionately with the Protestant children in defense of such subjects as the Blessed Virgin Mary, tradition, and transubstantiation.”
The award-winning writer, who is popularly known for her feminist views, attributed her first sign of alienation to the treatment of females in the church.
“Years later, something changed. My pious passion withered. I remember my first moment of recoil from the church, when a gentle and devout couple was banned from communion because their daughter had married an Anglican.
“It felt to me not only uncharitable, but unnecessarily so, as did other subsequent incidents, such as poor people who were refused burials because they owed money to the church.
“This happened in my ancestral hometown, in a provincial parish far from the university campus where I grew up. But after the Spiritans left, an uncharitable chill also descended on my university church.
“On Sundays, women of all ages were often harassed, men barring their entry into the church unless they wrapped themselves in shawls to hide their shoulders and arms (which apparently would cause men in the church to sin.)
“Entire homilies were dedicated to the wiles and evils of women. How unsettling to sit through Mass feeling as though one, simply by being born female, had become inherently guilty of a crime.
“My alienation deepened; I had become a person in a place that my spirit had outgrown. Even if I still attended Mass from time to time, it brought me no meaning, and I have since come to believe that meaning is what makes life worthwhile.”