By BRIDGET IKYADO
ABUJA- Gov. Hope Uzodinma of Imo said any time the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria met, the nation waited in fidgeted breaths “because their resolutions were widely circulated, very logical, rational and audacious.”
Sen Uzodinma said this at the official opening ceremony of the second 2022 plenary of Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria(CBCN) in Orlu, Imo.
This is contained in a statement by Fr Mike Umoh, Director of Social Communication, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria on Monday in Abuja.
The Governor commended the Catholic Bishops for unrelentingly providing resolutions to issues of national and global importance.
According to Uzodinma, one can rightly make the statement since 1958, when the CBCN was formed.
He said since then, it had become the conscience of the nation, speaking truth to power and seeking peaceful resolutions to burning issues.
Uzodinma commended the spirit of intensive prayer as outlined in the programme of the Conference.
The governor challenged the spiritual fathers not to only be seen to be praying for peace in the country, but to also be seen to be advocates of peace and unity in real life.
He further said that the Bishops had a huge responsibility to contribute to national unity and progress.
Similarly, the Chairman of the occasion, Dr Ambrose Orjiakor, applauded the Catholic Bishops for having lived up to the expectation of shepherding and pastoring.
According to him, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria, through the instrumentality of CBCN, have lived up to and exceeded expectations.
He made reference to St. John Paul’s book ‘Rise, let us be on our way’, which is a message to Bishops, and identified the symbolism of three things which Bishops wei adorned with.
He listed them as the Miter, the Croiser and the Pallium, explaining that the Miter symbolised that the Bishops represented the light on the mountain which everybody saw while living examplary lives.
He added that the Croiser was a symbol of authority that represented natural care, responsibility and leadership.
He affirmed that the Catholic Bishops lived up to their responsibilities in all the areas enunciated in Pope John Paul’s book.
The Chairman further said that the Bishops represented a very symbolic and robust institution through which the people of the country must have a voice.
He decried the current rising incidents of divorce in families and the escalating insecurity in the country.
The governor appealed to the Bishops to find a more collegial way to save the marriage institution.
He said this could be achieved by ensuring that marriage tribunals respected the institution of marriage and carefully handled issues around marriage.
With regards to insecurity, he praised the Bishops for the initiative of the prayer for Nigeria in distress and challenged them to do more.
Both speakers,(the governor and the chairman) did not fail to offer words of congratulations to the Bishop of Ekwulobia, Peter Cardinal Okpaleke who was recently elevated to cardinal.
They also congratulated the new CBCN president and Archbishop of Owerri, Most Rev. Lucius Ogorji.(NAN)