Being Communique Issued By the Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria, Awka Diocese at the End of her 2019 Annual Seminar/ Workshop Held at Archbishop A.K. Obiefuna, Retreat, Pastoral & Conference Centre, Okpuno, Anambra State, from September 20-22, 2019, on the theme: CATHOLICS IN POLITICS: PANACEA FOR PEACE, GOOD GOVERNANCE AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT.
PREAMBLE: The Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria, Awka Diocese (CLCNAD), held her 2019 Annual Laity Seminar / Workshop at Archbishop A.K. Obiefuna Retreat, Pastoral and Conference Centre, Okpuno, Awka South L.G.A, Anambra State, from September 20-22, 2019.
After prayers and reflections on the theme: CATHOLICS IN POLITICS: PANACEA FOR PEACE, GOOD GOVERNANCE AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, and issues bothering the laity as religious, political and social being, we issued the following communique:
1. GRATITUDE: We thank God for the gift of the Church and the laity. We thank God for the vibrant, active and formidable Laity Council of Awka Catholic Diocese, and urge the laity not to allow the light to go off.
We appreciate the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, for his unique fatherly care, love and supports to the Laity Council of Awka Catholic Diocese and the laity in general.
We, the laity also appreciate the Chief Chaplain of Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria, Awka Diocese, Rev Fr Dr Michael Muonwe, for his supports, availability and sacrifices for the good of the Council.
We commend the Anambra State Government for the working partnership it has with the Church. But, we urge commitment on the part of the Government, especially in proper attention to governance that promote human welfare as well as provision and maintenance of basic amenities for the good of the masses.
2. LIVE UP TO YOUR CHRISTIAN CALLING: Christians everywhere, should live up to the demands of their vocations to different areas in life, even in the face of adversities.
Let our actions and lives be modelled after Christ, which is Christo centric.
3. CATHOLICS IN POLITICS: The Laity, as a major stakeholder, should take active part in politics, and not shy away from it. The clergy are not to play partisan politics, but advisory roles to the Laity, who will as expected, be ideal Catholics who are politicians.
4. DIGNITY OF HUMAN PERSON: the core of the Catholic Social Teaching hinges on the respect and recognition of the dignity of human person.
Politicians and governments in power that do not represent the wishes of the people, ought not to be. Real government must represent the wishes of the people and have utmost regard for human dignity.
Catholics in politics should not compromise issues bothering on the dignity of human persons.
5. SHUN MATERIALISM AND CORRUPTION: Materialism is the seed of corruption, and corruption decays a faithless Christian.
We should stop celebrating ill-gotten wealth and promoting gospel of prosperity, so as to deemphasise get rich quick syndrome. Hence, hard work should be emphasised at all times.
Money politics should be discouraged at all cost, while good character, good Christian personality and quality representation should be encouraged.
6. CARE FOR POOR, NEEDY AND DOWNTRODDEN: The Church and the Government must care for the poor, the needy and down trodden in society.
Affluent individuals in the parishes should assist in setting up empowerment programmes such as entrepreneurship and skill acquisition programmes, to help the poor in our midst, so as to keep the boat afloat. The government in power should provide the necessary amenities that will make life easier for all, especially for the poor and the needy.
7. PROMOTION OF FAMILY VALUES: The Catholic doctrine celebrates the family as the Foundation of faith and the sanctity of marriage. The Catholic doctrine of leaving no one behind, should not just be a slogan, but a way of life for all. Family members should not celebrate obscene wealth, so as not to encourage corruption.
8. RIGHTEOUSNESS EXALTS A NATION: What will transform our society today are righteous living and social justice.
According to Saint Pope John Paul II, those to transform the society are the saints, therefore we should choose to be righteous in all ramifications.
9. CONCLUSION: The Catholic Laity should set up a team that will design templates for the politicians and governments in power, so as to checkmate maladministration, poverty and unemployment which are on the rise in Nigeria.
There should be periodic evaluation to assess performances of those in power, and correct them where necessary.
As Nigerians, we should rise up, solve our problems and better our country, for optimum human well-being, growth and development.
The Catholic laity should unite themselves in parishes and communities, and propose empowerment Programmes for the betterment of society.