Catholic bishops ban use of pulpits for political campaigning
By Vincent Kalou
Catholic The Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) and representatives of the Catholic Diocesan Priests Association of Nigeria (NCDPA) have banned the use of the pulpits for political campaigning.
This was their resolution at the end of their interactive session, themed “Political Consciousness for Effective Choice of Political Leaders in Nigeria”, held on Friday at Sacred Heart Pastoral Center, Orlu, Nigeria. Imo State.
The resolution jointly signed by CBCN President, Bishop Alfred Adewale Martins and NCDPA President, Rev. Fr. citizens, we are committed to encouraging every adult Nigerian to actively participate in it rather than leaving it to career politicians.
“We will work to raise the level and quality of the political consciousness of our people so that all may realize that it is only through good political choices that our present situation can be improved.
“We will use our resources and our structures, including the Justice, Development and Peace and Peace Commission (JDPC), and Catholic Social Education for the mobilization of all sectors of the population, in particular at the base, for an active participation to the electoral process.
“We will constantly remind our people to look beyond divisive issues and political affiliations and instead choose people with a track record of integrity, honesty, accountability, selfless service, wise stewardship of public resources and closeness with people.
“We are committed to preserving the sanctity of the pulpit and liturgical services, which should never be used for political campaigning.
“While respecting the provisions of canon 287 S 2, which prohibits priests from participating in partisan politics, we urge our priests to do everything in their power to ensure that the faithful of Christ are well educated and guided to assume their responsibility in the political arena.
“As ministers of God and servants of the people, we will continue to uphold prayer and fasting as our ultimate source of strength and as tools for the realization of the above resolutions and the betterment of Nigeria. We invite the people to God to do the same.