Archbishop Kaigama condemns attack in Catholic Church in Nnewi diocese
President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, who doubles as Archbishop of Jos Catholic Archdiocese, Most Revd Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, has condemned in strong terms the recent attacks on St Philip’s Catholic Church in Ozubulu, in Nnewi diocese of Anambra State.
In a recent interview at the Vatican Radio in Rome, he expressed shock and sadness about the attack, adding that the attack was a “terribly inhuman” and “barbaric” and condemn the killings wholeheartedly.
The Archbishop was speaking on behalf of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), while offered his thoughts and condolences to the Bishop of Nnewi, Most Revd Hilary Okeke, as well as Priests, Religious and entire laity of Nnewi diocese.
Despite the attacks, the Archbishop urged Catholics in Nigeria to continue to be strong and remain committed to being good Christians. He also urged them to be ready and willing to continue to show their commitment to Jesus through a life of witness.
At least 12 people were reportedly killed and 18 others wounded when gunmen opened fire on worshippers, who had gathered early on Sunday (August 6) during morning Mass at St Philip’s Catholic Church in Ozubulu, Nnewi diocese, Anambra State.
The Police said they believe the attack may have been linked to drug trafficking and was carried out, following a feud between local residents and members of the community living outside Nigeria.
In his own message, Pope Francis has sent his condolences over the dead and wounded members of the Ozubulu Church in Nigeria, as he expressed deep sadness over victims of the “violent attack” that took place in the Catholic Church.
The message was sent through telegram, which the Pope had sent on his behalf by Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, and extends his “sincere condolences to Bishop Hilary Paul Odili Okeke, Bishop of Nnewi, and to all the faithful of the Diocese of Nnewi, especially to the families of the deceased and to all those affected by this tragedy.”
The Pontiff invoked “the divine blessings of consolation and strength” on the whole diocese.
The statement was signed and sent by Rev. Fr. Chris N. Anyanwu, Director of Communications of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria.