By CSN, Abuja
President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) and Archbishop of Benin-City, Most Rev. Augustine Obiora Akubeze has on Thursday, June 24, urged the priests and lay faithful of the Catholic Diocese of Lafia to give full support to their new Bishop, Most Rev. David Ajang.
Archbishop Akubeze, who stated this in an address at the Episcopal Consecration of Bishop Ajang at St. William’s Cathedral, Lafia, Nasarawa State noted that like St. Augustine of Hippo would say, “Bishop David Ajang is a Bishop because of you and he is a Christian with you. You must support him with your prayers, with quality information to help him make sound decision.”
According to the CBCN President, the priests as leaders in the various parishes and institutions must take up the obligation of teaching the faithful to learn to collaborate with the new Bishop. “Without the collaboration from the priests and the lay faithful, no Bishop can succeed. No one is a Bishop for himself; he is always a Bishop for the people”, Archbishop Akubeze stressed.
The Archbishop of Benin-City also noted that Bishop Ajang is coming to the office with his own unique gifts, therefore, all must resist the temptation of comparing every decision he (Bishop Ajang) makes to what his predecessor did. “Whatever he judges prudently that needs to be changed, he has the appropriate authority to do so”.
He advised Bishop Ajang that there is a lot to be gained in consulting people’s goodwill before making decisions. “Consultations will enrich your decisions. You can also consult your brother bishops and I can tell you they will give you advice from their own experiences and this will also be of great help to you.”
The CBCN President congratulated Bishop Ajang and welcomed him to the fold, assuring him of the brother bishops’ prayers and support, even as he congratulated the Church in Lafia Diocese as they now have a new Chief Shepherd.
He expressed gratitude to the Holy father, Pope Francis for appointing a new Bishop for Lafia Diocese and saluted the Papal Nuncio to Nigeria, His Excellency, Most Rev. Antonio Guido Filipazzi for his support and guidance to the Church in Nigeria, and also saluted the immediate past Bishop of Lafia and now the Archbishop of Jos, Most Rev. Matthew Ishaya Audu, noting that, “Lafia sent a Bishop to Jos, while Jos sent a priest to become the second Bishop of Lafia Diocese. What a wonderful exchange. It shows the mutual solidarity of the churches”.
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