Defend Your Faith through Film, Catholics Told
By Madonna Nwani
The National President of Catholic Artistes and Entertainers Association of Nigeria (CAEAN), Dr. Charles Okwuowulu has charged Catholics in motion picture industry to brace up to the challenge of defending the tenets of the Catholic faith through films.
He gave the charge at St. Theresa Cathedral while inaugurating the Abakaliki Diocesan branch of the Association.
Dr. Okwuowulu who was recently appointed a desk officer of SIGNIX (Vocation Communication Outfit) Africa, unveiled that the Association has a strong backing of the Vatican as well as the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria to be the Ambassadors of the church in the film industry.
He said, “You see us on location, fighting to defend catholic faith. Because we know that priests and Bishops are not there, we are their ambassadors. Most times you say no to the financial reward accruable to you because of this.”
“When you are given a script where a priest impregnates someone, you’ll understand that denigrate the catholic philosophy of priestly celibacy; what do you do? You say no! or you advise them on how best to tell the story and achieve the same result without betraying your faith.
Not only as a director but also as an actor. By the time all of us say no to the producer, he’ll be left with no option than to do the right thing.”
The CAEAN President further asserted that the cardinal philosophy or core aim of CAEAN was to mitigate the misrepresentation of the Catholic faith in our films. According to him, the television and film industry is the highest opinion molder “that is why the Catholic Bishops Conference established CAEAN.”
He therefore congratulated Abakaliki Diocese for being the 21st Diocese out of 45 in Nigeria where CAEAN has been successfully inaugurated and charged the new diocesan executives to be up and doing in propagating the ideals of the Association all through the diocese as well as thanked the new patrons for accepting the responsibilities of being the pillars support for the Association.
Speaking also during the occasion, the director of social communication, Abakaliki Diocese, the Rev. Fr. Ifeanyi Ogodo eulogized Dr. Okwuowulu for his versatility and tenacity in championing the cause of the Association.
He observed that Abakaliki diocese was privileged to have him resident here as a university don, noting that his global contact and outreach in the film industry would impact positively on the diocese and especially on the new Association.
Fr. Ogodo disclosed his vision for the social communication directorate, encompassing CAEAN, CAMWAN, and CAMPAN.
He said, “I have only one intention as the director of communication, Abakaliki diocese to make this directorate to be one of the most functional directorates in the diocese.”
He reiterated that the inauguration of CAEAN was a step forward and that he was poised to float Catholic Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria, CAMPAN before the end of the year.
“I am going to a hub for young people with ICT inclination. I am going to father all Catholic Young people into a hub. If you maintain the hub, I am going to get you an online platform that you can operate for the young people to express themselves. The clergyman hinted that the motivation was borne out of the desire to bridge the communication gap for Catholics in the online platform.”
“There is competition online. If you ask Google a question, if you type “what is sex?” the answer you get will depend on who is defining it. A Pentecostal church may tell you that it is intercourse between consenting partners which could range for between man and man; woman to woman or even with an animal; which does not hold the same meaning with a catholic definition.
Father Ogodo averred that the Catholic Church still holds the bastion of hope for moral regeneration without which the world is headed for doom.
Describing Catholicism as the most uncompromising human institution, Father Ogodo enjoined CAEAN members to rise up to the occasion and beam a light of hope in the film and entertainment industry which he said has enormous influence in molding public opinion, more so, when most of the practitioners in Nigeria are Catholics.