“The Year of Faith, which began in October 2012, has witnessed a new zeal and energy in the laity’s outreach in evangelization.” This is what the Ecclesiastical Province of Ibadan in Nigeria stated at the conclusion of their monthly meeting earlier this week.
“Many new Catholic communities have been founded and others have been upgraded to the status of parishes,” the bishops stated in a message sent to Fides News Agency. “More importantly, many more people have drawn closer to God spiritually through the Sacraments, the Bible apostolate, and through the activities of the Charismatic Renewal, the Legion of Mary, and the charitable organizations”.
While expressing their joy at the evangelization efforts in the country, the Nigerian bishops also conveyed their concern at the current political reality, denouncing “the senseless bloodshed and violence made in som parts of the country.”
The Prelates applauded the efforts made by the authorities to protect civilians, but are concerned about the threats to the culture of life. “We condemn the decision of the government to return to the dark ages of adopting capital punishment”, the document states.
Another cause for concern is the controversy on the marriage of minors and the debate on homosexuality. “We confirm that a family consists of a man, a woman and children. We empathise with people who live with homosexual and gay tendencies and call on society not to discriminate against them. We however firmly reject all attempts to enshrine these tendencies in the Nigerian Constitution and we appeal to every Nigerian to protect the traditional values of marriage and the family as a way of fostering a cohesive society” the Bishops statement concluded.