Abuja, 15 July, 2023 / 11:30 am (ACI Africa).
Peter Ebere Cardinal Okpaleke, the Local Ordinary of Nigeria’s Ekwulobia Diocese, has cautioned against Bills that seek to negate gains the West African nation has made in the practice of religion, describing them as “evil bills”.
Speaking during the Thursday, July 13 leadership retreat for National Chaplains and National Presidents of Lay Apostolate groups in Nigeria, Cardinal Okpaleke made reference to the Bill that seeks to regulate Christian education in Africa’s most populous nation.
Members of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) expressed their reservations about the Bill in a statement shared with ACI Africa on June 28, terming it “unnecessary and impracticable” and incapable of serving Nigeria’s diverse doctrinal differences.
Recalling the stance of CBCN members about the Bill that seeks to establish a National Council for Christian Education, which would engaged in developing, approving and regulating syllabuses at all levels of Christian education in Nigeria, the Nigerian Cardinal said, “The Bishops made a wonderful intervention, and we expect the Laity to be more proactive in resisting such evil bills, especially those of us who are elected to make our laws.”
The contents of the Bill “are subversive of freedom of worship and bring unnecessary government interference into Christian educational system,” he said during the one-day spiritual event that was held at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN).