For the past few days now I heard in the news that the current Bishop of Sokoto Diocese of the Catholic Church, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah led a delegation to visit President Buhari under the auspices of The National Peace Committee, with the intention of intervening in the ongoing probe of former president Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
I have waited for The Church to come out and speak officially on this matter in order to establish, for the benefit of Nigerians and concerned Catholics like myself, whether the Bishop’s position is indeed that of The Church. I have been disappointed so far, but still strongly believe that this cannot truly be the position of The Catholic Church in Nigeria, but merely the personal position and view of Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah.
It is quite common for clerics nowadays to voice out personal opinions on matters that border on national, political, religious and ethical values. However, as a shepherd responsible for an assigned religious flock, it is normally expected that a true leader chooses his words very carefully so as not to elicit the wrong interpretation to his statements or incite political and national confusion.
A spiritual leader is supposed to be of the highest moral and ethical standards, as the young and old alike look up to him for inspiration and spiritual guidance.
Importantly, a true Christian leader MUST ALWAYS speak for the common good of the populace, no matter the situation or exigencies at any particular time.
In my personal opinion, and indeed, that of millions of Nigerians, Bishop Kukah’s statement that Jonathan had done “spectacularly” is grossly disappointing and inappropriate, especially coming at a time like this, when our nation had been plundered of its wealth and resources and millions are seriously living in abject and unimaginable poverty.
I would like The Catholic Church, therefore to come out and debunk the notion that since a highly placed leader in the Church had spoken, therefore it can be assumed that The Church has spoken. Except of cause, that is the adopted position of The Church. I hope this is not the case, though.
I pray that this matter would be given the urgent and critical attention it deserves.
St. Dominic’s Parish, Lagos.