Don’t Be “passive consumers of spiritual goods”: Catholic Archbishop in Nigeria

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama during Holy Mass at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral of Abuja Archdiocese. Credit: Abuja Archdiocese

The Local Ordinary of Abuja Archdiocese in Nigeria has cautioned the people of God in the West African nation against the tendency to passively consume “spiritual goods” in general and the message and person of Jesus Christ in particular.

In his homily at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral of his Metropolitan See, Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama reflected on the testimony of John the Baptist about Jesus in the Sunday, January 15 Gospel reading, and advocated for creativity and active participation in the spreading of the identity of Jesus Christ.

“I believe we have been greedily and scandalously consuming instead of frantically producing. It is time to produce and to be creative in this too,” Archbishop Kaigama said, and challenged followers of Christ in the West African nation to revisit their mission as baptized Christians, gauging if they are either “passive consumers of spiritual goods or active participants and contributors.”

He encouraged Christians to look at the forerunner of Jesus Christ for inspiration, saying, “John the Baptist is a good example of how to be productive both spiritually and materially; he teaches us by his spartan lifestyle (simplicity) and how we ought to approach the call and will of God.” 

The Nigerian Catholic Archbishop said that fighting social injustices and immoralities is one way of being productive and bringing people to salvation.


Like John the Baptist “brought people to repentance, baptized them and denounced evil such as Herod marrying his brother’s wife,” Archbishop Kaigama said, “We too are required to show people the way of salvation; bring others to know Christ.”

He cautioned Nigerians against falsehood, pride, unhealthy rivalry, and selfish ambitions, saying that such vices blind the world, making it “seem to be in darkness”.

The Archbishop of Abuja Archdiocese went on to decry the increase in cases of insecurity in Africa’s most populous nation, the latest being the January 15 attack on Sts. Peter and Paul Kaffin Koro Parish of the Catholic Diocese of Minna that resulted in the death of the Parish Priest.

The Nigerian Catholic Diocese announced the killing of Fr. Issac Achi in a message that was obtained by ACI Africa on January 15.

“It is on a sad note that we announce the death of Very Rev.  Fr. Issac Achi of the Catholic Diocese of Minna,” the Diocese said, adding that Fr. Achi’s Assistant, Fr. Collins Omeh, survived the attack, and had been hospitalized “in critical condition”.

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Fr. Achi “was shot dead by Bandits that attacked the Parish in the early hours of today,” the message from Minna Diocese indicated, adding, “Please, remember Minna Diocese in your Prayers.”

In his January 15 homily, Archbishop Kaigama encouraged Nigerians to get solace and strength in Jesus Christ even as the kidnapping and killing continue escalating in the West African nation.

“While we continue to beg those who target to kill Priests and other innocent victims to stop these atrocities in the name of God, as Christians, Jesus the innocent suffering Lamb of God should be our source of strength and comfort,” he said, making reference to the identity of Jesus that John the Baptist announced, “the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”.

The 64-year-old Nigerian Archbishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in February 1995 as Bishop of Nigeria’s Jalingo Diocese said that the increased cases of insecurity in Nigeria is a call for Christians to renew “our commitment to our personal calling to be more faithful witnesses to the Lamb of God.

He also reflected on the general elections scheduled for February 25 and urged the electorate to be careful in their decisions.


“As we gradually get closer to Nigeria’s general elections, the identity of every Christian as the light of Christ is being put to the test,” Archbishop Kaigama said, and added, Christians “need to be careful that no shadow of ourselves, our personal ambitions, our self-seeking, clouds our witness to the light of Christ.

He cautioned the Nigerian electorate against selling their votes, saying, “Avoid the Esau-syndrome, who mortgaged his birthright over a plate of pottage; avoid the way of Judas Iscariot, who sold His Master for the price of a slave.”

“Avoid selfish interests as the crowds who chose the criminal Barabbas to be released and rather have Jesus crucified,” the Nigerian Archbishop said in his January 15 homily.

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.