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Nigerian Bishop: Hillary Clinton’s Remarks About Religious Beliefs Show She “Thinks She Is a God”

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Bishop Emmanuel Badejo

Diane Montagna - published on 04/29/15

Much has changed now. The Nigerian army recovered so much territory from Boko Haram, arrested so many and freed up so much space that people are able to continue activities in very many areas. In fact, in many areas where we thought elections could never be held, elections we successfully held. 

Last week, for the first time in 6 years, the army actually entered into the dreaded Sambisa forest to confront Boko Haram, a feat considered unimaginable before now. So there is success against Boko Haram at the moment.

However, Boko Haram is not dead. And the danger is particularly acute given that ISIS has linked up with Boko Haram. In fact, it would seem that Boko Haram has modified its name now to relate to ISIS. However, I think that if the civilized world decides that terrorism is going to be eliminated, it can be eliminated, if there is sincerity and commitment.

One of your brother bishops — Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of Maiduguri, Nigeria — recently revealed that he had a vision of Jesus Christ, who told him that Boko Haram would be defeated through the power of the rosary. Your thoughts?

Bishop Oliver in my view has not said anything completely extraordinary, for two reasons. 

First, the rosary has always been the strength of Catholic spirituality. Throughout Church history, the rosary has played a great role not only in bringing people closer to God, but also in giving them strength to conquer many wars, also in times of combat. Now, if you sit here to discredit what happened at Lepanto and other battles many years ago, you’ll have trouble convincing anyone that you have good reason to do so.

In the Marian centers of the world which have been approved by the Church — like Fatima and Lourdes — the rosary has always been recommended. Messages were given to people at these places that battles —whether spiritual, physical, or military — can be conquered through the power of the rosary.

Bishop Oliver said he had a religious experience. Religious experience is legitimate and one doesn’t need to be against it. I think very many people question this kind of thing because they have really, actually stopped believing actively in God. 

We call Jesus ‘Emmanuel’. If he is ‘with us’ all the time, why can’t he show himself to us? And the fact that I have not had that kind of vision does not mean that Bishop Oliver cannot.

Religious experience is sacred. I have spoken to Bishop Oliver on the phone. We are quite close. I’ve been close to him because he and his people are on the front lines, and we try to support them in whatever way we can. I spoke to him on the phone and he is convinced about what he saw. 

I am particularly happy that when he said Jesus handed him a sword, this sword became a rosary. Thank God. Better the rosary than the sword. Christianity has always fought its battles by prayers, not by arms. And so what Bishop Oliver said is, I believe, very consonant with Catholic theology and Catholic practice.

I myself have contributed along with a religious organization in distributing about 1 million rosaries in Nigeria, and I believe that the rosary has the power to help change situations, and that includes the situation with Boko Haram.

Turning to other international issues: Last Thursday at the 6th annual Women in the World Summit, Hillary Clinton said: “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed” for the sake of giving women access to “reproductive health care and safe childbirth.” Your Excellency, what are your thoughts — as a Catholic bishop and specifically a Catholic bishop of Africa — on the former US Secretary of State’s remarks?
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