The President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) and Archbishop of Benin City, Edo State; Most Rev. Augustine Obiora Akubeze has reiterated the importance of collaboration among the workers of the church to facilitate the success of her evangelization apostolate.
Archbishop Akubeze made the call in his homily at the celebration of the Mass with the staff of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), and other agencies of the CBCN at the St Gabriel Chaplaincy Chapel, Durumi, Abuja, recently.
Noting that he was celebrating Mass with the staff for the first time in the new year with the staff, the CBCN President declared: “... collaboration is very essential for the success of the work you perform here. The nature of your work requires healthy communication among you. It requires that you are conscious of the grave responsibility that lies on your shoulders.”
Admonishing the staff to note that their work affect over 30 million Catholics in the country, the Archbishop urged the workers to note that the success of one is the success of all while the failure of one is the failure of all. Archbishop Akubeze urged the staff to avoid gossiping as this destroys trust and makes collaboration almost impossible. He urged the workers of all categories in the secretariat to embrace solidarity and subsidiarity, as well as learn to forgive each other when things go wrong,
Archbishop Akubeze added: “A working environment where there is mutual suspicion cannot attain sustainable success. CSN new community must be a breeding ground for nurturing trust and love. A place where there is respect for diversities of opinions and strong willingness to enforce decision. A place where unity is preached and lived.”
The CBCN President also used the occasion to warn the workers on the issue of classified information dissemination and positive use of the social media for the benefit and keeping the integrity of the Church. He also spoke on the need to respect superior officers and not take familiarity for contempt.
His words: “We are living at a time where leaking of information has attained professional level. As staff of CSN, you will come in contact with highly classified information. Respect for dignity of your office and love of the Church should guide you in preserving the confidentiality expected of you.” He added: “A lot of disservice is done to the Church when classified information are leaked to the public. In addition to this requirement to observe pontifical secrecy, I will also mention the need for you to be careful in the use of social media.”
Speaking on the readings of the day, Archbishop Akubeze noted that Christian witnessing is embedded in the unity of the faithful as expressed by the life of the Japanese Saint Paul Miki and his companion; whose memorial is celebrated on the day. He also urged the faithful to be ready to suffer for their faith. He added: “Let us learn to form the habit of uniting our suffering with the passion and death of Christ, so that it may gain for us expiation of sins and reward in everlasting life.”