Church stigmata row deepens

By Deidre Fanene ,

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Opapo Soana’i Oeti and Rev. Elder Tautiaga Senara.

Opapo Soana’i Oeti and Rev. Elder Tautiaga Senara. (Photo: File)

The Chairman of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S.), Reverend Elder Tautiaga Senara, has been accused of “turning his back on God” by rejecting the messages received through a woman who claims to be carrying the marks of Jesus Christ’s suffering.

The claim was made by Opapo Soana’i Oeti, the former Reverend of C.C.C.S, who has been stripped of his pastoral duties over the continuing controversy.

And because the Chairman had rejected the messages, Mr. Oeti said:  “This means that God has turned his back on the C.C.C.S Chairman for not accepting the messages and for turning a blind eye to all the messages that were sent from God through Toa.”

Toa is Mr. Oeti’s daughter, Toa Patrick. 

Speaking to the media, Mr. Oeti said if the Chairman of C.C.C.S had accepted the messages delivered by Toa from the beginning, his sacking would not have been necessary and “none of this would’ve happened.”

When the Sunday Samoan contacted Reverend Elder Senara for a comment, he was on his way to the airport heading to New Zealand and he declined.

“As a faifeau, I don’t want to do anything to stir up trouble within the church,” said Reverend Elder Senara.

 “I respect my congregation and the church. I am not aware of the accusations he made but I don’t want to say anything as this is nothing new. This is not the first time he has turned to the media to say things against the Elders and the Church.”

Told that Mr. Oeti had accused him of being the one behind the decision to sack him, Rev. Senara said Mr. Oeti can say whatever he likes. 

“I can’t say anything as it will just make the situation worse. He is free to say anything. As for me, I don’t want to say anything now, as it might make the situation worse. But let’s just leave everything to God.”

But Mr. Oeti said God has been revealing himself to his daughter in Rome and when she returns with her husband and children, she will tell everything. 

He revealed, however, that the first vision received by Toa when they arrived in Rome last year was about Reverend Elder Tauti’aga Senara. 

 “This vision happened on the first week we arrived in Rome,” said Mr. Oeti.

“Toa said she saw a bright light coming from the statue of the Divine Mercy outside of the room. Therefore, she reached out her hand but she said her hand had gone further out the window.

“Toa told me her vision was about the Chairman of the Church, Reverend Elder Ta’utiaga Senara. She told me that there were four knocks on Reverend Senara’s doors and she said it was God who was knocking the door.”

Mr. Oeti went on to share his interpretation of the vision.

 “The first time God knocked Reverend Senara’s door at his house at Matautu, he opened the door and found out that there was no one outside. 

“This illustrates the first time we approached Reverend Senara. It happened on Easter Day 2016. Reverend Senara wanted to understand what happened to Toa during Easter. 

“Toa’s forehead still had blood and marks of the crown of thorns (palealii). He then put his forehead on Toa’s forehead and his words were, ‘I hope these will be a blessing for me as well.’ We thought he had already accepted and believed what was happening to Toa.”

But he found later that Reverend Elder Senara did not believe it.

The “second knock” on Reverend Senara’s door was similar to the “first knock.”

“He opened the door and there was no one outside. This referred to an incident which happened on the 18 of August last year,” Mr. Oeti said.

“This was when I approached Reverend Senara to get a chance for Toa to give a testimonial at the church minister’s gathering at Malua. 

“However, (Reverend) Senara told me that the Elders of the church have asked me never to speak to the media again regarding Toa’s case. 

“It was there that I confirmed that Reverend Senara did not believe what was happening to Toa. That’s why he refused to give her a chance to tell her story to the people of Samoa. He was afraid that people might accept and believe everything.”

Mr. Oeti said it was Reverend Elder Senara who stopped people (of the E.F.K.S) from listening to Toa’s testimony. 

“I know he (Reverend Senara) is unhappy of the fact that Toa is communicating with Jesus. He is unhappy that someone insignificant like Toa is talking to Jesus. That’s why he doesn’t want to believe any of these things.”

About the third knock, Mr. Oeti said: “This was the time where we went and asked Reverend Senara for permission for me to go with Toa and Patrick to Rome. I was asked to accompany my daughter. 

“This happened on the night of White Sunday last year. There was blood on Toa’s forehead when she met with Senara and his wife. He gave us permission to go and gave us his blessing. But what he said was different from what he did.”

The fourth knock, according to Mr. Oeti, is when Reverend Senara answered the door and saw Toa, her husband turning their backs on Reverend Senara.

 “But this was when we were all in Rome at the time,” said Mr. Oeti.

“I called my wife and family at Falelatai when Toa told me about this to prove whether what she said was true and they said it was true. 

“They said they were worried if something was happening to us in Rome because the Chairman said he saw us walking away from his house, when he knew we were in Rome.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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