The Catholic priests of Nigeria have called for a reorientation of the citizens, in the face of so much mistrust, suspicion and rejection in the country. Members of the clergy, speaking under the auspices of the Association of Catholic Diocesan Priests of Nigeria (NCDPA), made the appeal at the end of their 33rd Annual General Meeting held at St. Leo Catholic Church in Ikeja and in Lagos, Friday.
The resolutions signed by the President and National Secretary of the NCDPA, the Right Reverend Br. Sylvester Onmoke and the Rev. Francis Ikhianosime respectively, noted that while there are many reasons for great admiration for the Nigerian character or person, there are however many reasons to be worried about the Nigerian person.
Part of the resolutions read: “Being Nigerian today comes at a high cost which includes mistrust, suspicion and rejection in many quarters caused by the prevalence of high level corruption, religious nepotism, unfettered banditry, police brutality, loss of hope in the Nigerian Dream, and so on. These are causes of serious concern.
The theme of the meeting was: “The Fundamental and Holistic Reorientation of the Nigerian Person: An Urgent Imperative for Church and State”.
The diocesan clergy further noted that the advent of COVID-19 with the challenges that come with it has further heightened their concern, not only for the Nigerian person, but also for the Church.
“The reality of the COVID-19 pandemic among us has necessitated the re-examination and revitalization of the Mission of the Church, that all men are called to belong to the New People of God (Lumen Gentium). “
“We note with great concern that not only have churches and places of worship been locked down as part of efforts to contain the spread of the virus, the services of religious leaders as essential workers have also been excluded.
However, the coming together of families and small Christian communities has awakened the Church’s conscience and fidelity to her roots (Acts 2:46) and to traditions with the family as its smallest unit (Familiaris Consortio # 17). The priests resolved to maintain their unwavering loyalty to the Church, to defend their true priestly identity, and to tirelessly promote the unique fellowship of the Catholic priesthood.
“Unequivocally, we resolve to intensify our passion for transforming lives through the gospel, nourishing the people of God with well-prepared homilies and catechetical instruction. We also decide to continue to reorient our people, especially young people, through quality education, formal and informal, in our ministry.
“Be that as it may, the state must support citizens in their efforts to obtain quality education.
The state, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, must fulfill this role, not through authoritarian interventions in the education sector, but by providing an environment conducive to synergy for the family, voluntary organizations such as the church and other religious communities; and the corporate world in the task of ensuring that the average Nigerian has access to quality education.
“The NCDPA recommended that every Nigerian have the right to a good education and have unlimited access to basic formal education, namely primary and secondary education.
“May Church and State collaborate to achieve the holistic formation of the human person. This could be achieved through the implementation of those aspects of our curriculum that aim to instill virtue in learners.
We also recommend that students have their preferred subject choices.
“Educators in schools must be well equipped with teachers who are sufficiently qualified and adequately paid for the task of training students. He also said that parents, as primary and primary educators, must live up to their responsibility in training their children.
“Religious leaders need to be innovative in their ministry with the appropriate use of new media for evangelism.
However, in the use of social media by everyone, caution, self-control and moral discipline must be taken into account.
“All state institutions must assume their responsibilities to ensure adequate security, to make appointments devoid of nepotism and sentiment, to promote genuine patriotism as enshrined in the national anthem and the engagement, ”the resolutions said.
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