2023: Don’t just predict political future, speak truth to power — Kaigama charges clerics
Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Grace Most Revd Ignatius Kaigama, has advised clerics to lend their voices and use their platforms more for social change than being what he described as ‘political forecasters’.
He said religious leaders would do better by channelling their creative energies into admonishing those in political leadership to stop rationalising bad governance and corruption by speaking truth to power.
Kaigama, however, challenged leaders to accept rejection and criticism even when they think they are doing their best.
The Archbishop, who stated this on Sunday in his homily at St. James Parish Dawaki Abuja, advised all Nigerians to embrace love by being more sensitive and respectful of one another for peace and prosperity to prevail in the country.
Atiku: Interrogating Sowunmi’s ‘Kindergarten President’
He said, “The story of Jesus’ rejection by His townspeople should challenge leaders to accept rejection and criticism even when they think they are doing their best; after all, their best may not be what the people cherish.
“For us religious leaders we must remain ardent in preaching the truth with courage and not be deterred even by threats to life. We are called to be the Jeremiah of our day: tell truth to power.
“Unfortunately, many religious leaders who are sadly preaching miracles and prosperity are now dabbling into political forecasting in the name of divine prophecy.
“When they claim that party A or B will win elections in a given state, or nation, or a certain strong political personality will win rather than the other, these are mere fruits of political calculations or pure guesswork, and may not be a result of any special supernatural or divine revelation.
“Serious religious leaders must not arrogate to themselves prophetic political certitude by such distracting predictions when they should be only concerned with issues of moral regeneration of lives and the constant call to spiritual decency.
“Prophets should worry rather about people encouraging them to do away with a mentality that rationalizes sin, corruption and calls evil, good.
“True Prophets don’t just glory in predicting the political future; they are rather to serve the people of God and to bring God’s word to them; to be models and witnesses by the edifying words that come from their lips and the courageous witness of their lives.
“Unlike many contemporary ministers who are out to seek a ministry of comfort, affluence and convenience, the priest is called to identify with his flock in their social and existential contexts, and in the words of Pope Francis, ‘to smell like the sheep’.
“Religious leaders must resist the temptation to do influential people’s bidding by prophesying electoral victory or massaging their worldly ego and during public religious gatherings.
“Attributes of love such as being patient, kind, gentle, forgiving, etc., will heal our badly wounded society, making our political, religious or traditional leaders and all Nigerians more sensitive to and respectful of one another.”