The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has tasked leaders of lay organisations and societies to comply with its existing directive on rotational leadership among the three old regions of Nigeria – Kaduna, Lagos and Onitsha. The prelates stated in strong terms that the policy supersedes any lay body’s constitutional provision that contravenes it.
In a letter addressed to all leaders of Lay Apostolate groups in the country and signed by Most Rev. (Dr.) Lucius Iwejuru Ugorgi, Archbishop of Owerri and President of CBCN, the Bishops collectively noted that the essence of the directive is to ensure that inclusiveness, equity and respect for the dignity of the human person prevail in all Church organisations.
The letter read in parts, “This policy is intended to provide every part of the country with leadership opportunities in our lay apostolate groups. The policy has been in place for a while and was recently re-iterated by the Bishops of Nigeria during their 2023 first plenary meeting which took place from 11th to 17th February 2023. “
Inclusiveness, equity and respect for the dignity of the human person are not only to be taught, but also to be seen to be practiced in all Church organisations. This is precisely the aim of the policy. “It is to be noted that this policy supersedes the provision(s) of the Constitution of any lay apostolate group in Nigeria which runs contrary to it; indeed, such a Constitution should be amended to reflect the policy.”
On a final note, CBCN urged all Catholics to continue to work together to ensure that Church organisations are beacons of light, hope and love for all members who seek solace and spiritual growth through them. Kaduna region comprises all northern and middle belt Catholic dioceses in the country, while all dioceses from Lagos to Issele-Uku in Delta State constitute the Lagos region. Onitsha is made up of all dioceses in the east, including those in Calabar and Port Harcourt.