The Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Most Revd Matthew Audu, has told Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State that the church has forgiven him over his recent comment on the Pope, saying his “apology has been accepted.”
Archbishop Audu, however, urged the governor to work at making a difference in politics, stressing that the Church encourages members to go into politics and not do anything to disgrace the church.
Speaking yesterday at the 19th General Assembly of the Archdiocese of Jos, at the St. Louis Parish Jos with the theme ‘‘The Eucharist our Strength Towards a Better Nigeria” the Archbishop stressed the significance of the Eucharist that makes provision for Christians to follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ and work towards sacrificial service, honesty diligent and kindness.
On the apology to the Catholic Church by Governor Lalong, he said, “Your apology is accepted.
“As you know, our President of the Catholic Bishops Conference, has already accepted your apology and so it goes for all of us. We have accepted it.”
He noted that since the Church encourages its members to go into politics, the intention is for the Governor to work at making a difference in politics in line with the mandate of the church to its members who are in politics.
While assuring him that the Church will not allow him to fail, Archbishop Audu asked the Governor to “advise the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, on the need for unity, national integration and carrying all segments of the country along which is the major concern being expressed by Christians on the choice of the President and Vice Presidential candidates.”
Speaking, Governor Lalong reaffirmed his loyalty, commitment and faith in the Catholic Church as well as the desire to always be a good ambassador wherever he finds himself and stressed the importance of the Eucharist in his life.
Lalong said he “continues to draw strength and inspiration from his relationship with God”, as well as the teaching and upbringing he has received from the Catholic Church since childhood.
According to him, the events of the past week relating to his utterance which generated controversy “should not be used to judge his love, respect and loyalty to the Catholic Church which strongly teaches forgiveness, tolerance, compassion and repentance.
“When there is unity, love and continuity, we can do better and greater things for the Lord. May I appeal to my colleagues, my brothers and sisters in politics, to take a cue from the example displayed by the Catholic Church by closing ranks and seeing ourselves as God’s workers.
“That way, we can see Plateau State and Nigeria as God’s fields and God’s buildings where we can all play our roles in fulfilling His purpose.
“We need this more than before given our elections coming up in 2023. I urge the Church to continue to pray for the success of the elections and also encourage the people to participate actively and peacefully.
“Staying away will only give room for the emergence of bad leaders that may not be suitable for the challenges of nation-building.”