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Morata mothers recruited to offer door-to-door prayers for cash


LIFE is getting acutely more dreadful each passing day in Papua New Guinea and this has finally pushed some morally upright people’s civic virtue to the cliff-edge.

It seems that pious papists are now willing to be two-faced, just like most of the fat cats, arrow men (police) and their Asian masters.

In fact, some devout people have begun to craft bizarre techniques to make ends meet. One such group is a gang of Catholic mothers in Morata, along with their padre.

Instead of doing something useful in their houses such as sewing clothes and baking scones, or fishing and gardening in the Morata Swamps, we hear they have been instructed by the parish priest to visit families in their homes and pray for them in return for money.

The pious ones also venture into other suburbs of Port Moresby to pray to national politicians and bureaucrats of state entities and beseech the Lord to extend their tenure in exchange for money.

Being conservative Catholics and having all the sacraments required of a Catholic, they also come to our area for prayers in the evenings, with or without invitation.

Just recently two came and prayed in our area and on the table, before the prayer, we had some money in an envelope as an offering. The pair were exceptionally prayerful and we concluded on a high note.

At the closure, the mothers interpreted what they saw in their mind’s eye during prayer. They smiled and told us that whilst praying they saw a handsome bearded white man looking at us. The man had an infinite smile and so they assured us of good things coming our way from heaven. We were led to believe that the white man was Jesus, or maybe an angel from heaven.

A few months later our area invited the two mothers back but this time we had no money on the table. The elderly one refused to pray and asked the younger novice to do so instead. The old woman remained silent throughout and at the conclusion there was no vision to interpret for us.

With a cold hard face, she was quick to leave our house and our area. We could tell she was not happy.

A member from our precinct escorted the mothers to the main road and bought them some betel nut. Whilst they were chewing, the novice pulled the member to the side and whispered that the elderly mother refused to pray because we had no offer money for her to collect.

Anyhow, a few days later a Kange friend, who finished university a few years ago and can’t find a job, wanted some people to pray for him and slough away any witch spell that hovered over him.  He asked if we knew some people who had spiritual gifts who could pray for him and cleanse him.

We told our Kange friend that some Catholic mothers normally went around praying so would arrange a time for them to see him.

We found the novice and asked if the mothers could come and pray for our friend and explained the reason. The young woman discreetly said that we needed to put money on the table this time.

She said that this particular elderly mother prayed to all classes of people including the chief executive officer of the country and that she was used to collecting huge amounts of money and giving it to the parish priest.

The novice continued that the money collected from prayer visits was always given to the parish priest but the padre never announced the collections at the conclusion of mass each week.

Upon hearing of this oration from the young woman, we were particularly upset.

On the eve of national electioneering, it seems these mothers have been given a decree to increase their visits to intending candidates and tell them that heaven has confirmed their election victory. It is apparently a simple way to make a fortune for themselves and the padre.

We believe the parish priest gave instructions to these gullible mothers to drop their household chores and go around praying and advocating feel good promises in exchange for money.

It is also true that other mothers are running around trying to cook up something from the existing Catholic network to make money to get their own heads above the daily scourge of poverty and violence.

Such fleecing should be sieved out immediately, whether it is a decree from the padre or of the mothers own doing.

Close to half the people in the settlements are poor and cannot afford be fleeced to further fork out family money to these two-faced papists.

We call upon those in Port Moresby’s Roman citadels to drive out such cults by sassy mothers and miserable padres.

On the whole, prayers should be prayers and not involve an exchange of money.




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Paul Waugla Wii

The Lord Jesus came to bring healing to a world torn by suffering and affliction. The love of God,which found its complete expression in the life and teachings of God's only begotten Son Jesus Christ, must be extended to all who are afflicted and burdened in our communities.

The Word of God is free of charge,and it has power to change our character,and make our greedy and sinful hearts clean and whole again.

Philip Fitzpatrick

"In this world or a next, let ‘both’ parry and party, so it might be hoped, more of self-shared love."

That's ridiculous.

It's introducing a laiss'ez faire, Conquistador element to morality.

Lindsay F Bond

Commodification was inevitable when disparity of articles and resources manifested upon arrivals at shores of an island unexplored by Europeans. Not only were items viewed as prizes, so too were procedures and permissions. Exchanges and more drastic methods, over time, led to closer engagements and closures, with refinements and embellishments ventured by ‘both’ those who had to provide and those acted to procure.
In this world or a next, let ‘both’ parry and party, so it might be hoped, more of self-shared love.

John K Kamasua

Countryman, I think these mothers have come up with a scheme to defraud people of their money. And they will be preying on desperate people who want quick answers to their problems and predicaments.

I am not sure if the story connecting with the local padre is true or not. Maybe another lie by the mothers to further strengthen their fraud. Again not sure here.

On the other hand, I think it is high time all churches should tell the congregations that it is all right to work hard, honestly and amass wealth and then use wealth to help others, and further the work of the church.

I have a terrible feeling that churches teach their congregations to follow a part of poverty and expect their rewards in heaven; this I consider is contrary to what the Bible teaches.

The prophets and patriarchs of the Bible were rich people. King Solomon for example. And Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were all well of materially by their standards at that time.

The modern capitalist system of wealth creation in the west was borne out of the protestant work ethic.

Churches in PNG also need to promote empowerment, physical well-being as well as the nourishment of the body and mind with nourishment of things that are spiritual.

Peter Kranz

Didn't one Martin Luther rail against "selling indulgences" some 400 years ago? It is sad that this is allegedly Catholics who are doing this.

I agree with Daniel - it is the Evangelical "get rich with God" brigade who are the worst offenders. And I would add Hillsong to the list.

Last year an Evangelical preacher of the same ilk offered us a guaranteed cure for cancer (for Rose) for just $100 a dose. I quickly showed him the door.

Remember there was one bloke who saw this scam for what it was 2,000 years ago.

"To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

"The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Garry Roche

If this allegation is true then it is good that it has been brought to our attention.

It is not unknown that cult-like practices can spring up in the midst of Church life. In the early Church a man named Simon tried to buy the power of the Spirit with money (Acts. 8.18).

Unfortunately this problem continues to raise its head. In my opinion, all Churches must be vigilant to try and ensure that individuals are not trying to use the Gospel simply for their own financial benefit.

This applies especially to those of us who are or have been professional ‘pastors’.

In my younger days when I was Parish Priest in Rebiamul, Mt. Hagen one of my duties was to visit the sick and elderly. This involved frequent long treks up the hills behind Hagen and the surrounding countryside.

We would pray over the sick and bring them Communion. We never asked for money. Sometimes I was offered money but I would not accept it.

If they were insisting on giving money or seemed offended by me not accepting the money then we would tell the family that if they so wished, they could put the money in the common collection box at Sunday mass, but we did not accept any money while visiting the sick.

The early missionaries, whether Lutheran or Catholic, were usually not in a position to demand financial return from the people.

At times there was the opposite complaint. If the priest or pastor was not asking some return from the people, he was accused of “spoon-feeding the people”!

David Gonol

We do the works of God for a pay but not in this world. Our pay will come from God in the world to come.

Chris Overland

Christianity has a long history of exploiting believers for profit.

It was not uncommon for positions within the medieval catholic church to effectively be sold off to those willing and able to offer a financial inducement of some sort.

Thus, well to do families often placed their spare sons within monasteries by offering the Abbott cash or promising to fund a building or agreeing to leave land in their wills.

Martin Luther famously railed against the church's practice of selling indulgences, whereby the buyer received time off from purgatory in exchange for money.

Also, the members of certain orders of friars or priests sometimes wandered the countryside preaching to small groups of people wherever they could find them.

Usually amongst the poorest and least literate of the clergy, these so-called "hedge priests" relied upon the charity of those they encountered to survive. They were, in a sense, selling sermons, prayers and blessings for a living.

So, what is now happening in PNG can be seen in the broader historic context, where believers were offered spiritual benefits of some sort in order to fund the church itself or individual members of the clergy.

To me, this behaviour is probably the ultimate confidence trick, where the purported benefits on offer are not only intangible but, mostly, can only be realised after the customer's death.

I guess this is why the number of customer complaints is so low.

Bomai Witne

Kops, Catholic Church has rich history and traditions of communal prayer. It is encouraged in all Dioceses in this country.

However, this tradition can be manipulated for self gain by individuals and these individuals must know that they are hijacking the intent of communal prayer and that is unChristian.

For Catholics, these are real challenges that draw us closer to the Gospel and its values in understanding changes across space and time.

Martinez Wasuak

We must not be mislead.
Please don't make worship a mockery.

Clement Papa

This is certainly an abuse of our belief and the genuine practice in family and community prayer-meeting circles of the Catholic communities.

I would ask if you could report the Parish Priest to the Archbishop of Port Moresby to take appropriate action. I am saddened to read this reported news.

Daniel Kumbon

Morata is a very poor suburb where the city’s outcasts, the down trodden, unemployed, low wage earners and informal market sellers live.

Forgive the small time padre and the praying mothers for soliciting money from such poor people.

But imagine world televangelists who are worth millions and continue to pull in millions of dollars every year.

Evangelists like Eddie Long who is reported to have said Jesus wasn’t broke, and leaders of churches shouldn’t be either. Long has earned millions in salary from his ministry, owns a million dollar home on a 20-acre lot, has use of a $350,000 Bentley, and pulls in a host of other benefits too.

Long was among a group of other wealthy American televangelists who were under Federal Investigations to ensure they weren’t taking advantage of their nonprofit status.

They headed ministries which were nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations but they raked in millions every year, owned private jets, expensive cars and lived in mansions some as big as hotels.

The others who were under federal investigation, some of whom had come to PNG were Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar. Randy and Paula White and of course Eddie Long.

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