Recommit to Create Better Nigeria “through authentic Christian lives”: Catholic Bishop

Bishop Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejoof Nigeria's Oyo Diocese. Credit: Oyo Diocese

Followers of Jesus Christ Nigeria need to recommit themselves toward creating a better country by upholding “authentic Christian lives”, a Catholic Bishop in the West African country has said.

In his Tuesday, April 12 homily during Chrism Mass 2022  at the Assumption Cathedral of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo,  Bishop Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo said that Christians can change the world by getting involved in it and not “by turning their backs to it”.

“I ask you to make a recommitment today to create a better world through authentic Christian lives,” Bishop Badejo said, and added, “Christians do not change the world by turning their backs to it. They do so by getting involved in it.”

The Nigerian Catholic Bishop urged the people of God in the country to get involved in the general elections scheduled to take place in 2023, saying that it is one way of living authentic Christianity.

He said that the current political situation in the country is getting hot and risky but that Christians should consider it as one of the devil’s tricks to frighten them from fully participating in it for a better Nigeria.


Bishop Badejo said in reference to the political situation in the country, “These are the tools of the evil one to frighten you to submission. Life itself is a risk and so the Church says ‘get involved’”.

He continued, “Join a party, get your voters cards, renew your old ones and when that time is here, go and vote! God can make you win the lottery but you have to buy the ticket first. Step out in faith and trust and God will protect you and use you for his glory.”

The Local Ordinary of Oyo Diocese who doubles as the Pan African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS) urged Christians to reach out to the vulnerable in the society and to help them based on their various needs.

“All around us are the bereaved and sorrowing who need comfort, the poor who wish to be helped, the vulnerable and defenseless who wish to be protected, the refugees and persecuted who want to be reassured and the old, the sick and weary who need us to give them strength,” Bishop Badejo said.

He said that Christians should not be bothered by how they will get the resources to help the vulnerable but instead should rely on God’s divine providence and be prayerful.

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The Nigerian Catholic Bishop made reference to the feeding of the 5000 people in the Bible and underlined the need for Christians to trust in God. He said that Christians need to be committed and to be accompanied with a strong prayer of trust “God will provide”, as Abraham told Isaac.

Acknowledging the important role the faithful play in the priesthood of Christ, he said, “My dear people of God, even in these hard times, thank you for all you are doing. Without you the Church is incomplete and weak. I ask you to sustain your faith and hope in the love of God.”

He said that challenges tend to bring the worst out of the people of God but God himself gets the best out of it because he is always on the side of the downtrodden.

"Let us remember that the entire ministry of Jesus is to heal the world. ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son…’ When Jesus came, he declared that mission openly and clearly. ‘The Spirit of the Lord has been given to me for he has anointed me’”, Bishop Badejo said, making reference to Luke’s gospel.

He continued, “This is why the priesthood of Jesus, the mission of his Church, has always been and will always be a healing ministry.  Those who institute a separate healing ministry other than the ministerial priesthood merely duplicate one aspect and distort the priesthood which Jesus has given to us." 


The 60-year-old Nigerian Bishop who has been at the helm of Oyo Diocese since November 2009 reflected on the worldwide threats posed by COVID-19 and said that the pandemic threatened the church but did not succeed against it.

Still among us, Bishop Badejo said, “Conflicts, very high insecurity, injustice, discrimination, violence, banditry, ritual killing, kidnapping and all sorts of vices and combine with a collapsed economy to threaten life and almost make things unbearable for us. It is even worse for some other Nigerians.”

During the Chrism Mass, the Catholic Church leader who has been a member of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication since his appointment last December urged members of the Clergy under his Pastoral care to teach, admonish and guide the ignorant saying that in itself is a great form of healing.

“We must also heed the outcry of the sheep, their request for us to live authentic lives, to be coherent and be committed to the mandate given to us by Christ. It would be the fulfillment of what Pope Francis asked of priests to be shepherds who smell the smell of the sheep,” Bishop Badejo said.

He said that the role of the faithful in the church is to reconfirm their identity as the body of Christ, and urged the faithful to always pray for their Priests and Bishops in order to walk within the grace of God.

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“You are asked to pray for your Priests and together pray for your Bishop that he may be a more perfect image of Christ, the Good Shepherd, Teacher, and Servant. May God mercifully hear our prayers,” Bishop Badejo implored.

He said that Chrism Mass involves praying together “over the instruments of our ministry.”

During the celebration of Chrism Mass, Bishop Badejo said, several activities take place including consecration of Chrism oil for use by presbyters in the initiation of new Christians and Priests renewing the promises they made at their Priestly ordination.

He said that Chrism, a sacred oil that is consecrated only by the Bishop, “is an expression of unity of the local Church around her Bishop.”

Bishop Badejo explained in reference to the sacred oil made from olive and perfumed with balsam, “It’s not the same as oil blessed simply by the initiative of any powerful, intelligent, rich or gifted pastor, visionary or healer… it is divinely processed.”

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.