National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Lagos, Nigeria

Nigerian bishops visit refugees in Cameroon who fled Boko Haram

A delegation representing Catholic organizations in Nigeria offered words of comfort and pledged help for Nigerian refugees who fled to neighboring Cameroon because of a violent insurgency.

Led by Bishop Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji of Umuahia, chairman of Caritas Nigeria, the fact-finding delegation visited Minawao Camp in Maroua, Cameroon, in mid-March to meet with some of the estimated 36,000 Nigerians who have sought safety in recent weeks.

The visit was arranged after the Cameroonian bishops' conference approached the Nigerian bishops about the plight of the refugees.

Two Nigerian archbishops suspend sign of peace to help prevent Ebola

In an effort to curtail the spread of Ebola, the archdioceses of Lagos and Abuja instructed their priests to suspend all forms of physical contact during Mass, including the traditional sign of peace.

"Taking into consideration the fact that this rite is optional, we shall henceforth omit it, i.e., not invite people to offer the sign of peace. When you get to this rite, skip it," Lagos Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins said in a statement Sunday.

Nigerian church condemns bombing that claimed at least 71 lives

The Catholic church in Nigeria condemned the morning rush-hour bombing of a bus station near the capital of Abuja that killed at least 71 people and injured dozens more Monday.

"The killing of innocent Nigerians once again makes us ask how many more innocent people must die before a solution is found to the brutality and insecurity of lives and property in our country," said Fr. Christian Anyanwu, national director of social communications for the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, the social development arm of the Nigerian bishops' conference.

Nigerian bishops caution government about religious prophesies

Five Catholic bishops cautioned Nigerian government leaders about a series of statements from Pentecostal and indigenous religious leaders portending tragedy.

The bishops of the Ibadan province said in a statement released Monday that the warnings, or visions as described by the religious leaders, may be a tactic to control the actions of political and government officials.

Nigerian archbishop, others question plan to dialogue with Boko Haram

A Nigerian archbishop joined others in his country in questioning the wisdom of a plan that the Nigerian government dialogue with the Boko Haram Islamic sect, responsible for the deaths of thousands of people in the past several years.

Critics, including Archbishop Felix Job of Ibadan, urged Nigerian authorities to be cautious of negotiating with an extremist "faceless group" that had been involved in maiming and killing of innocent Nigerians.

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April 10-23, 2015

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