Listening, “a necessary prerequisite for the development of faith”: the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria

“This attitude opens the way to a real dialogue”, they add in their message signed by the president of the RCCS, the archbishop Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji.

The Catholic Bishops are calling for “a well-represented pastoral council in all parishes as a way to create space, more space for dialogue and participation.”

“In a Synodal Church, ways must be found through which those on the periphery such as the illiterate, the materially poor, and the silent members of the Church can be heard,” RCCS members say.

They add: “Without a doubt, wars, dissension, bitterness and acrimony can be avoided by embracing the power of listening and dialogue”.

The National Pastoral Congress, which began on November 8, was organized under the same theme as the Synod on Synodality, “For a synodal Church: communion, participation and mission”.

In their Nov. 11 collective statement, RCCS members also stress the importance of ongoing catechetical formation in Africa’s most populous nation.

“Catechetical formation, which is a continuous and dynamic process, is at the heart of the growth and development of the Christian life”, they say, and add: “There is no gain in saying that we should be constantly trained in our faith”.

To achieve catechetical formation, say RCCS members, “a well-developed program, which should include a Catholic curriculum for missionary schools, should be designed so that catechetical formation is such that it does not end with the reception of the sacrament but initiates a process which should accompany the Catholic throughout his life.

“It is not only desirable, but a necessity for effective Christian witness. In the pursuit of this ideal, all hands must be on deck”, add the Catholic Bishops in their message published at the end of the National Congress which was held at the Catholic parish of Saint-Paul in the Archdiocese of Benin. City.

They call on members of the clergy, men and women religious “to take the lead in the catechetical formation of the faithful. As immediate collaborators, catechists must be adequately trained and justly remunerated, while parents, for their part, must ensure the initial catechetical formation of their wards supported by an exemplary Christian lifestyle.

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