Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "We have noticed with shock and disdain the increasing rate of kidnaps and sometimes, murder of priests and religious in our country", says the resolution approved at the end of the first plenary of the national association of Diocesan and Religious Directors of communication held at the St. Pope John Paul II Pastoral Centre Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria from the 25th to the 29th of March, 2019.
On the opening day of the works, on March 25, another Nigerian priest, Fr. John Bako Shekwolo, was kidnapped in his home in the village of Ankuwai, in the state of Kaduna, in central - northern Nigeria (see Fides, 27/3/2019. Only a week before, on March 20, the body of Fr. Clement Rapuluchukwu Ugwu, parish priest of St. Mark's Church, was found in Obinofia Ndiuno, in the Ezeagu Local Government Area, in the State of Enugu, who had been kidnapped on the 13th March (see Fides, 21/3/2019).
"The Church has been, and continues to be the voice and hope of the voiceless in our society", say the Directors of social communications.
"This function has been carried out by priests and religious: doing away with priests and religious implies doing away with the church and what it stands for".
Faced with this wave of crimes that threatens the life of the Church, the directors of social communications launch an appeal to the bishops’ Conference of Nigeria to "undertake a research on the causes of the kidnap and murder of the priests/religious and collaborate with the government in bringing to an end this sacrilegious act". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 3/4/2019)