Let People’s Salvation Be “our primary concern”: Catholic Archbishop in Nigeria to Christian Leaders

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Nigeria's Abuja Archdiocese. Credit: Abuja Archdiocese

The Catholic Archbishop of Nigeria’s Abuja Archdiocese has called upon Christian leaders to prioritize the salvation of the souls of the people of God under their pastoral care, rather than money and luxury living. 

In his Sunday, March 24 homily, Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama also called upon Nigeria’s leaders to draw inspiration from Jesus Christ, and serve the people with humility.

“Today, the Church invites us to consider the one who laid down His life so that we might have life and have it to the full. This is a call to Christian religious leaders to realize that it is not enough to own large and expensive church buildings or boast of having established churches everywhere,” Archbishop Kaigama said during Palm Sunday Mass he presided over at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral of Abuja Archdiocese. 

Christian leaders “are called to be shepherds whose priority is not money or the competition for numerical increase of members, or how luxurious and expensive pastors’ lives must be as proof that they are not serving a poor God,” he said. 

The Nigerian Catholic Archbishop emphasized, “Our primary concern must be to lead our people to eternal salvation. Money, while very helpful, did not play a critical role in Jesus’ ministry and should not be the major determining factor for our ministry.”


“Whether as spiritual, traditional, or political leaders, we must practice what we call kenosis - self-emptying/self-giving. Let the same mind be in Nigerian leaders as it was in Christ Jesus, who, though, was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness,” he said, referring to the Second Reading of Palm Sunday, Philippians 2:6-11.

Leaders, Archbishop Kaigama emphasized, “must serve, and not exploit their leadership positions, refusing to ‘wash the feet’ of their people, considering this below their status and dignity.”

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