“Help heal trauma of poverty, psychological stress of insecurity”: Nigerian Archbishop

Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Nigeris's Abuja Archdiocese/ Credit: Abuja Archdiocese

The Catholic Archbishop of Nigeria’s Abuja Archdiocese has called upon authorities in the West African nation to help heal the trauma resulting from poverty and the psychological stress the people are facing as a result of insecurity.

In his homily Sunday, June 27, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama said, “As Jesus identified with the sick, the suffering and downtrodden, leaders must make conscious efforts to alleviate people’s suffering.”

“Leaders must wake up to their responsibilities, to help heal the trauma of poverty, the psychological stress of insecurity and the fatigue of daily life,” Archbishop Kaigama said.

The Nigerian Archbishop who was presiding over Sunday Eucharistic celebration at Sacred Parish of Abuja Archdiocese further said, “Leaders can command the respect of people only when they don’t pursue their personal comfort or engage in an arrogant display of wealth and the paraphernalia of power.”

He bemoaned the fact that in parts of Nigeria today, “farmers cannot go to farm for fear of bandits and kidnappers, children are not safe in school and youths are frustrated to the point of desperation.”


According to the Local ordinary of Abuja, “the type of faith we demonstrate in pilots or doctors is the type of faith we should demonstrate in our political leaders. But they must first be exemplary, selfless in service and sensitive to the needs of people under their care, especially in the use of public resources.”

Against this backdrop, Archbishop Kaigama said, “Our challenges should bring us closer to God rather than drive us away from Him because with God all things are possible.”

“Do not allow people’s attitude to discourage you from getting what you need from God,” he said.

The Nigerian Archbishop urged the people of God to be “patient and consistent in prayers for with faith we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. No problem is too complicated for Jesus to solve.”

“Faith and good work must go together. Do not abandon work for prayers or be working when you should be praying. We need to budget our time well. Instead of going on a retreat or spending time fasting on a mountain on a day of work, you should be at your work,” Archbishop Kaigama said.

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He continued, “Faith that tells you not to seek medical treatment is not a mature faith. We must combine faith and reason. A man whose house is on fire but chooses to pray the rosary has a naive faith.”