Virtue-ethics as sine-qua-non to economic empowerment of grassroot pastoral agents for evangelization in 21st century-Arua diocese, Uganda
Aluma, Wadri Robert
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The twenty first century is an era of fortunes and misfortunes. Though globalization and capitalism associated with this century has brought integral development, thanks to science and technology, many people have been driven to poverty. Religion has not been spared by the sweeping globalization and capitalism. For religious leaders to survive in this capitalistic environment, they also need capital. Using the case of catechists in Arua Dioceses, this research recognizes the importance of capital wealth and economic welfare in evangelism but posits that this capital-wealth, economic welfare and empowerment should be anchored on virtue-ethics if evangelization is to be effective. Wealth accumulation without virtue-ethics is an anathema and jeopardizes evangelization as a divine mandate (Mt. 10: 1-15; 28: 19-20; Mk. 16: 15-18). Data collection for the study was guided by four research objectives: i. To establish the economic conditions of grassroot pastoral agents. ii. To examine the virtuous behaviour of pastoral agents in economic empowerment for evangelization. iii. To investigate the practice of ministry of evangelization among the grassroot pastoral agents. iv. To draw a way-forward for the pastoral agents themselves and the diocese towards economic self reliance. The research used both qualitative and quantitative approaches—with significant findings about the economic conditions of catechists in Arua dioceses, and the profound impact of poverty on their religious mandates. The data analysis was aided by Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS - IBM Version 20) software where Tables and Figures were generated, interpreted, analyzed and presented. From the findings, the economic and living conditions of the grassroot pastoral agents are indicators of high levels of poverty. The socio-economic conditions associated with poverty affects virtuous dispositions and inevitably evangelization. The study recommended that Arua diocese prioritizes economic empowerment of grassroot pastors as a motivational parameter for evangelists. Economically empowered pastoral agents were by ipso facto motivated to deliver results. Virtue ethics should be emphasized in the curricular training of these pastoral agents as a sine-qua-non to mitigate the dangers of wealth accumulation that otherwise jeopardize evangelization. Besides, to liberate the others from negative forces, the agents must first liberate themselves. Hence, there has to be emphasis on entrepreneurial courses on the syllabus of Centers that churn out grassroot pastoral agents to mitigate the negative impacts created by poverty such as giving limited time for evangelism in favor of fulfilling other economic needs, misappropriation of church funds.