Wrong to spiritualise poverty

Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja has said that it is wrong “to spiritualize poverty.” In his address to the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC), currently taking place in Cebu, Philippines, on the theme “The Eucharist and the Dialogue with the Poor and Suffering,” Cardinal Onaiyekan said that “poverty mean many things” and therefore must never be spiritualized. “Actually, in the Church poverty can be a virtue. We speak of the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty, and obedience. The word poverty itself could be positive,” he told Vatican Radio. “We cannot spiritualize poverty as if it is a good thing,” said Cardinal Onaiyekan. “It can never be a good thing.” However, he said there is a different kind of poverty – “misery” – which cannot be welcomed.

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