Claims of stigmata causing division in Samoa


The father of the Samoan woman who it is said received the stigmata last Easter is giving up his work of 23 years as a minister of the Congregational Christian Church. Reverend Opapo Oeti Soana’i  revealed his decision on Wednesday.

“I am not going to wait for my roles as a church minister to be restored. I am going to leave and return to my family and serve using my matai titles as I believe it is not the importance of one’s role but to serve honestly,” said Opapo.

On Tuesday, the Congregational Christian church of Samoa’s elders committee issued a written decision  saying Opapo was dismissed because he had acted disobediently when he  in took his daughter to Rome.

He also “failed to remove the statues of Jesus and Mary inside village church as not in line with the beliefs of the Congregational Christian church.”

Opapo refutes the accusation.  He said he did seek and obtained the approval of the Chairman to accompany his daughter to Rome and that the Chairman had twisted the reasons when differences developed in the village that resulted in the banishment of high chiefs of the village and district.

He also explained that he and his wife knelt and apologised to the Chairman and were assured things were alright after that.

The church members and Opapo and his wife made the traditional apology – ifoga on a Sunday which was accepted by the Chairman as he kept the fine mat that covered Opapo during the apology.

Opapo’s daughter Toaipuapuaga (Toa) is due to return to Samoa next Tuesday 28 March. In Rome she gave birth to a baby daughter Agnes Federicca Margitalia “who is healthy and if it was from the devil, she would not have lived as a gift from Jesus,” said Opapo.

He said all the messages and clothes worn by Toa– torn and bloodied during the stigmata occurrence have been handed over to the Vatican for further investigation.

The process of the Catholic Church regarding the investigation of such matters will need to be completed with the formal submission from the Archbishop in Samoa to the Cardinal in Wellington, New Zealand then to Rome.

Opapo hopes Toa, who is now under the complete supervision of the Catholic church would share her experience in Rome with the people when se retirns, as she did after the stigmata occurrence last year.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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