Thursday 3 August 2017

I faced lots of opposition, antagonism, blackmails in Catholic Church – Rev Patrick Edet

Popular radio and television evangelist, Rev. Patrick Henry Edet has said he faced a lot of opposition, antagonism, blackmails in the Catholic Church. The former Reverend Father who announced on his program “Grace and Inspiration” on Planet Radio on Wednesday that he has resigned as a Catholic priest said he lived in perpetual fear, pains, self-rejection and depression because of several factors which he enumerated.

“26 years ago, at the age of 22, I had a personal experience of God for the first time. An experience of forgiveness, of personal experience of salvation and knowledge that there is God beyond just an idea and made a covenant with God that since you have saved me, use me to save others. And that I will do everything I can to be a blessing to others. That is the foundation of my seeking to be ordained a catholic priest, just for one thing. What motivated me was never the love of robe, of wearing indifferent from others, what motivated me was not to be better than others by status or title, what motivated me was not honour. The greatest passion and what got me incensed and forced me to resign from the little job I had and forfeit the admission I had in the university, a process that would lead me to the ordination as a catholic priest. There was just one motive, to tell others about grace, that God saves, that God can heal, that God can change lives. I have heard people talk about my weakness, I have heard people talk about my rubbish, my humble beginnings, my poverty, my struggle, my struggling with sin, with struggling with issues. I have shared my story to tell someone else that in your story and in the middle of your story there is a grace that speaks and that God is a God of grace.
“More than 11 years ago I started preaching on radio and television. I had a vision of preaching on radio and television in the seminary. I wrote it down, I knew my whole life I will live it in the media, I will reach out to people. But I had thought I would first of all go abroad, have Ph.D, learn a lot and be grounded a lot before I would be qualified to teach and preach on radio. I was barely two years as a priest when God gave me the opportunity to start a ministry on radio. And it has brought me incredible blessing. It has changed my life, brought me to studying the bible, and to seek to know God, to understand how God works with us. And to understand the call, what it means to be called by God and to walk with God. It has also brought me a lot of challenges, a lot of opposition. In 2006, around June/July, we started Night of Grace in collaboration with the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Nigeria in Uyo Diocese.
“My whole calling to the priesthood was inspired by those moments, of standing before people to demonstrate the mercy and the grace of God, to bring people’s heart to God and to cause people to hope in God and to let them know that God can do what man cannot do.
“It also brought me a lot of fame, a lot of opposition, antagonism, blackmail. All I hear every time is that I am not truly a catholic priest, I am not good enough as a catholic priest. It has been in conflict in my heart because why I accepted not to marry and to have children was not just to be a catholic priest but to do the things that I do. To be naughty on radio and shout and laugh and inspire somebody. Cry when I want to cry, console somebody who cries, to live my life out in my faith and in the process be a human being who can make mistakes. The very things that I believe brought me to priesthood has been the reason that peace has been taken away from me for years. I lived in fear, in doubt, sometimes I doubt myself and say am I really right, am I really in the right place. I hear people say he is too arrogant, he is trying to say he is different, he is pretending, he is looking for money, he is looking for fame. I have heard all sorts of things. And it has brought me a lot of pains in the process, sometimes self-rejection, sometimes doubt, sometimes depression, sometimes I don’t know but peace has been taken from me”, Reverend Edet said.  

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