Catholic Bishops in Nigeria’s Lagos Ecclesiastical Province have said that Nigerians no longer take seriously the pronouncements and “assurances” from State authority regarding security challenges in the nation.
In a collective statement shared with sources on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, following their first 2024 Plenary Assembly, Catholic Church leaders at the helm of Lagos Archdiocese and the Dioceses of Ijebu-Ode and Abeokuta acknowledged with appreciation the “evangelization efforts” of the Pastoral Agents, including members of the Clergy, and women and men Religious.
“People are already tired and dismissive of the assurances that come from government and security agencies after each destruction of life and property,” the Bishops said following their Plenary Assembly at St. Agnes Catholic Church, Maryland, Lagos Archdiocese.
They added, “We however call on our political leaders and security agencies to improve upon their efforts and bring these threats to a good life to an end.”
The Bishops highlighted the plight of the people under their pastoral care, including economic challenges and abductions, and “urge the government to show greater determination to alleviate the suffering of our people beyond the unsustainable palliatives being touted now.”
In the three-page statement signed by their Chairman, Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins of Lagos Archdiocese, the Catholic Church leaders commended the pastoral ministry in the Ecclesiastical Province, which they say is “shown in the significant increase in the number of parishes, deaneries, and catechumens.”
“While noting that it is God that gives the increase, we express our appreciation for the evangelization efforts of the Clergy, the religious, and the lay faithful in the province and urge them to remain committed to the mission of the Church with unity of purpose and collaboration for the continued growth of the Church,” the Bishops said in their statement dated January 25.
The Catholic Bishops thanked the Holy Father Pope Francis for his contribution to the growth of the Church in Nigeria through the appointment of new Local Ordinaries and the erection of new Dioceses in the country.
In the statement co-signed by their Secretary, Bishop Francis Adeshina of Ijebu Ode Diocese, the Bishops in the Province of Lagos expressed their thanks to the Inter-Diocesan Marriage Tribunal officials and the Provincial Marriage and Family Life Units for unveiling the Marriage Preparation Curriculum.
“We direct that the curriculum shall be followed strictly by instructors and intending couples in marriage preparation programs of all Parishes in the Province,” they said.