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Kaigama admonishes priests on utterances

Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, on Friday advised Catholic priests to behave according to the laws of the Catholic Church.

Kaigama, who gave the advice at a news conference to commemorate World Communications Day (WCD) in Abuja, urged religious leaders to always weigh their utterances, as they might have grave consequences.

”Fr. Ejike Mbaka of the Adoration Ministry of Enugu is a priest of the Catholic Church and should behave like a priest of the Catholic Church.

”When you are made a priest, you swear an oath and you have to live by the oath for the rest of your life.

“Also, I want you to know that when a priest speaks, he speaks of his own accord and not as the church.

”Canon 285 says Clerics are to refrain completely from all those things which are unbecoming to their state, according to the prescripts of particular law.

”Clerics are also to avoid those things which, although not unbecoming, are nevertheless foreign to the clerical state.

“Priests are not allowed to be involved in partisan politics. Anything that is foreign and unbecoming to priesthood should be shunned.

”I believe, as Nigerians, we talk recklessly and do not believe that the things we say have consequences,” he said.

The cleric, however, charged the government to quickly find a lasting solution to the insecurity situation bothering the nation.

Kaigama, who noted the theme for this year’s WCD, ‘Come and See’, challenged media men to go out into the streets and communicate by encountering people wherever they are and however they are.

He stated that the creation of many security organisations across the country was a result of security deficiency.

”We call on the government to do the needful in ensuring that terrorists are checkmated, criminals rounded up, bandits dismantled, and kidnappers put out of business,” he said.

Kaigama also advised the government to open up discussion and dialogue about the issues at hand across political party, religious or ethnic lines.

Similarly, he called on the government to involve the youth in matters that affect the country, stating that the youth had played significant roles in the development of the nation.

“Our energetic, dynamic and innovative youths must be able to shape the future they will inherit, and that future begins today.

”With a rapidly expanding youth population, the future of Nigeria belongs to the youth.

“Our leaders must ensure that young people are given a level playing ground in both economic and political matters,” he added.

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