Nigeria’ s Catholic Lawyers Urged to Embrace Church Teachings in Addressing Challenges

Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins delivering his homily during the celebration of the new Legal Year Mass for the Association of Catholic Lawyers in Nigeria. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Archbishop of Nigeria’s Lagos Archdiocese has lauded Catholic lawyers in the country for their interventions in various matters of the West African nation, and urged them to arm themselves more with the social teachings of the Church as they seek to address challenges facing the country.

In his Sunday, September 18 homily at the celebration of the new Legal Year Mass for the Association of Catholic Lawyers in Nigeria, Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins called upon the country’s legal experts to always seek to embrace the sanctity of human life, the dignity of the human being, the common good and promotion of faith in their line of duty.

Archbishop Adewale also urged the Catholic lawyers to always adhere to the needs of the poor, rights and responsibilities of people, the dignity of labor and the rights of workers, as they go about practicing their legal profession. 

“We are glad that your association makes comments on the state of the nation, based on the social teaching of the Church. I believe you will allow the social teachings of the Church to guide you and to guide your interventions,” Archbishop Adewale said.

He added, “I therefore urge you to arm yourselves with knowledge of the social teachings of the Church so that you can bear witness effectively to Christ as Catholics and as lawyers. As you bring these values to your practice of the law, I believe that the social order would be better and our country Nigeria will be able to rise and attain the heights that I believe God has in stock for her.”


The Archbishop of Lagos applauded the Catholic lawyers for their contribution in legal issues that touched on the Church in the West African country. He particularly commended them for standing up for the sanctity of the family and human life in the country.

“We use this opportunity to commend your association for the interventions that you have made in the affairs of our nation particularly as they relate to the faith of the Holy Catholic Church. We commend you for instance for stepping out for the faith on the law concerning abortion particularly here in our State,” the Local Ordinary of Lagos Archdiocese said.

He added, “We thank you for stepping up out of the issue concerning marriage. We hope that you will continue to respond to matters that are not friendly to our Catholic faith on the one hand, or to the practice of faith on the other hand.”

In his September 18 homily, Archbishop Adewale urged the Catholic lawyers to use their God-given expertise to bear witness to their faith.

“I urge you, as you begin this new Legal Year, you will remember that we all are called to bear witness to our faith in whatever sphere of life we find ourselves,” the Nigerian Archbishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in January 1998 as Bishop of Abeokuta in Nigeria said.

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He added, referencing the Catholic lawyers, “It has pleased God to give you the opportunity of being in a noble profession. I believe God would ask you to use your profession to bear witness to the values of our faith; the values of your faith-integrity of life, honesty of purpose, being at the service of justice and peace, and standing out as people who can be trusted and relied upon at all times.”

“As good Catholics, you are concerned about the common good. And so, we urge you to continue to be vigilant so as to identify and speak out whenever you see that the common good is threatened, be it in the area of insecurity, or the economy, or good governance or even in the dispensation of justice,” Archbishop Adewale said September 18.

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.