Ignatius Kaigama, Catholic archbishop of Abuja Diocese, says the COVID-19 pandemic will determine those who are true clerics and those seeking to amass wealth.
The federal government has since banned social and religious gatherings to curb the spread of COVID-19 but some clerics have protested the decision.
Speaking with PUNCH, Kaigama said pastors could still go-ahead to lead their followers to heaven, whether there is a pandemic or not, adding that COVID-19 “is the acid test now.”
The bishop said any cleric in the church whose goal is to amass wealth is not called of God but a businessman.
“This is the time to know who are true shepherds of the flock and those who are just engaged in work of religion in order to amass wealth for themselves or to acquire wealth and prosperity,” he said.
“If you are a pastor or priest in order to serve the people and lead them to heaven, then whether coronavirus is active or not, you will still go on to do that.
“But if you are a pastor or priest in order to acquire material wealth, in order to enjoy prosperity, then, I’m sorry, you’re not called by God. You’re a businessman or businesswoman and not a priest or pastor.
“This is the time we should see real men of God who are dedicated, even to the point of giving everything they have, including their lives in the service of the people of God.
“This is a moment of trial for us, we hope that we will pass the test with distinction as pastors and we will be able to stand by our people solidly without money.
“If the collections are not coming to the church, tithes are not there, how do you do? Will you run away and abandon the sheep? No, as a good shepherd, you should stand strong and firm and be there for the people and pray for a good time to come again.”