808 People Killed in Southern Kaduna Attacks, Catholic Church Claims

808 People Killed in Southern Kaduna Attacks, Catholic Church ClaimsNo fewer than 808 people have been killed in the ongoing attacks on communities by suspected armed herdsmen in Southern Kaduna.

This is according to the Catholic Archdiocese of Kafanchan.

In a statement issued by the Vicar General of the diocese, Reverend Father Ibrahim Yakubu, 53 villages have so far been attacked and 57 people injured.

The church also accused government and security agencies of not doing enough to protect the people of the area from being attacked by the armed bandits.

Yakubu said, “Four local government areas have been attacked, with 808 people killed and 1,422 houses, 16 Churches, 19 shops, and one primary school destroyed.

“Unfortunately, our government both at the Centre and State levels have failed woefully”

The church, while demanding for immediate end to attacks in the area and compensation to all families that lost loved ones or property, also called for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry be put in place to investigate the causes of the crisis.

“We call on Southern Kaduna indigenes to remain steadfast in prayer, united, strong and never to cave in to the antics of our adversaries.

“Tribe and denominational differences shouldn’t put a chasm between us.”

Pope Francis Names 17 New Cardinals

Pope Francis, New CardinalsPope Francis has named 17 new cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church from around the world, many of whom will help choose his successor.

The new cardinals come from five continents, and include the Vatican’s envoy to Syria.

The range of backgrounds “represents a break with custom”, said the BBC’s David Willey in Rome.

Pope Francis has now chosen close to a third of the College of Cardinals who will ultimately pick who succeeds him.

The new cardinals come from countries including the Central African Republic, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea and Mauritius, among others.

During the ceremony, Pope Francis decried what he said was a “growing animosity” between people, and raised concern over those who “raise walls, build barriers and label people”.

“We live at a time in which polarisation and exclusion are burgeoning and considered the only way to resolve conflicts,” he said.

Pope Francis Names 17 New Cardinals

Pope Francis, New CardinalsPope Francis has named 17 new cardinals of the Catholic Church. Those appointed include 13 cardinal who are eligible to vote to elect his successor when he resigns or dies.

The new cardinals are mainly from developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The appointments emphasize the growing influence at the Vatican of clerics from the developing world. Only one of the new cardinals is from Italy, the nation that has dominated church politics for centuries.

Pope Francis, who celebrates his 80th birthday in December, appears to be putting down important markers for the future of the Catholic Church.

Cardinals are the most senior members of the Roman Catholic hierarchy after the Pope.

Police Parade Alleged Killers Of Benue Clergyman

Police, Benue, ClergymanPolice have paraded four persons alleged to be responsible for the kidnap and eventual murder of a clergyman in Benue State, north-central Nigeria.

The Police said that the suspects purportedly killed Reverend Father John Adeyi of the Catholic Church of Otukpo in Benue State on April 24, 2015.

Addressing a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja, the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Donald Awunah, said that the suspects would soon be arraigned in court.

He disclosed that they led the Police to a bush in Orokam area of Benue State, where three guns used for the kidnap and murder of Father John Adeyi were buried.

Mr Awunah added that the kidnap gang, led by 30-year-old Sulaiman Goma, collected the sum of 1.7 million Naira from the family of the late clergyman a day after killing him.

The other suspects were identified as Saidu Abdullahi, Aliyu Garba and Haruna Idi.

President Buhari Congratulates Father Mbaka On Ordination Anniversary

Muhammadu Buhari, Ejike MbakaPresident Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated with the Director of Adoration Ministry, Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka.

This is coming ahead of the 21st anniversary of the cleric’s ordination to priesthood in the Catholic Church which comes up Friday.

The President, on Thursday extended his best wishes to Father Mbaka’s family, congregation and well-wishers as they celebrate this special occasion with him in his continued devotion to the well-being of others as a father, wise counsellor, teacher and guardian.

He commended the clergyman’s steadfast devotion to his vocation and ministry amply demonstrated in his love and service for his people, nation and God.

President Buhari prayed that God Almighty, who has given the cleric the strength to devote his entire life to service in the Vineyard, would continually bless and prosper his ministry.

Kukah Condemns Investing Money In Churches

Kukah Condemns Investing Money In ChurchesThe Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, has condemned the investment of billions of Naira into the running of nowadays’ churches in Nigeria.

While giving his Christmas message on Friday, Mr Kukah maintained that religion should not be a profit-driven venture.

“The word of God and its living blessings are free. Isaiah said that much when he said ‘come all of you who are thirsty, come to the water and you who have no money, come and eat. Buy wine and milk without money and without cost (Isaiah: 55:1)’,” the clergyman said.

Mr Kukah pointed out that there were times when the Catholic Church was guilty of “simony” – the practice of making profit out of sacred things.

According to him, “That was one of the reasons for Father Martin Luther’s revolt. But, so much has changed now. Prayer for our people is the duty of all ordained ministers, but today, it has become subject to abuse.”

The cleric called on Christians to return to the model of Jesus Christ as they celebrate Christmas, adding that considering the life that Christ lived, it was difficult to understand how Nigerians had come to equate success, prosperity and blessings of God with wealth.

Pope Francis Addresses UN General Assembly

popePope Francis has condemned in very strong terms the degradation of the environment, calling it a harm to humanity.

He made this condemnation at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York on Friday.

The Clergyman said that any harm done on the environment is not only offensive, but unacceptable.

He condemned what he called ‘oppressive lending systems’ which smaller countries, particularly Africa are subjected to.

The Catholic leader also addressed other topics including girls’ education and drug trafficking.

This is the first time Pope Francis would be addressing the UN General Assembly, since becoming the leader of the Catholic Church.

At a memorial in September 11 Memorial Musuem, the Pope prayed for those killed in the attack, also praying for healing for families of the victims.

Pope Francis Focuses On Poor In Bolivia

pope Pope Francis has begun his second leg tour to three poorest countries in South America.

He was received by Bolivia’s first indigenous leader, President Evo Morales, who gave him a ritual pouch with coca, a sacred leaf in the Andes.

Pope Francis insisted that the Catholic Church should continue to play an important role, to protect the most vulnerable in society from the impact of capitalism.

He also called for dialogue between Bolivia and Chile over their long-time border dispute.

The Pope was said to have flown in from Ecuador and will also visit Paraguay.

The Pontiff hailed Bolivia for encouraging the poor to be active citizens, saying ”Bolivia is making important steps towards including broad sectors in the country’s economic, social and political life”.

Today Is Ash Wednesday

ash wednesdayToday is ash Wednesday, a day that marks the beginning of the season of Lent for Christians faithfuls.

It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares Christians for Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday.

In the Catholic Church, ashes are distributed as a mark to remind the faithfuls that they are dust and unto dust they shall return.

Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of blessing ashes made from palm branches blessed on the previous year’s palm Sunday, and placing them on the foreheads of participants.

According to the canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus Christ spent 40 days fasting in the desert, where he endured temptation, Lent, therefore originated as a mirroring of this, fasting 40 days as preparation for Easter which comes up on April 5.

Christians Celebrate Palm Sunday

Christians all over the world especially Catholics and other orthodox denominations are today celebrating Palm Sunday, a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter.

The feast commemorates Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four gospels.

In many Christian churches, Palm Sunday is marked by the distribution of palm leaves, often tied into crosses, to the assembled worshippers

According to the gospel, Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem, and the joyful crowd laid down their cloaks and small branches of trees in front of him.

Pope Will Not Interfere In Selection Of Successor

Pope Benedict XVI, who is due to resign on February 28, has stated that he will not interfere in choosing his successor after his shock decision to resign at the end of the month.

The brother to the Pope, Georg Ratzinger told journalists the Pope would only “make himself available” if he were needed.

Pope Benedict XVI said on Monday he would resign after almost eight years as the head of the Catholic Church because he was too old to continue at the age of 85.

This decision pegged as the first papal resignation in nearly 600 years surprised governments, Vatican-watchers and even Benedict’s closest aides.

The Vatican now says it expects a new Pope to be elected before Easter.

Bad Character Not Religion Responsible For Violence In Nigeria – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has condemned religious violence in the country saying that those who kill in the name of religion cannot be said to be worshipping god.

President Jonathan

President Jonathan made the observation in his remarks at a service organised to mark the 30th Episcopal Ordination and Celebration of the Elevation of Cardinal John Onaiyekan as a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria, Pro-Cathedral, Area 3, Garki, Abuja.

The president described Cardinal Onaiyekan as a bridge builder and a true messenger of God expressing the confidence that one day the papal father will come from Nigeria.

He observed that most of the violence in society stem from people of questionable characters and called on the church to braze up to the responsibility of moulding people’s character.

The president said, “The Church, the government and the political actors have the same responsibilities and we believe that the Church is at the centre of society building.

“Some of the challenges we face today arise because of the character our people have.

“If the Church moulds the people especially starting from the children, Nigeria will be a better place,” he said.

He congratulated Cardinal Onaiyekan on his elevation, describing it is a significant achievement and honour for the clergyman and the nation.

He described the office of a cardinal in the Catholic Church as a position of great responsibility and service to humanity.