The President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) and Archbishop of Benin City Archdiocese, Most Rev. Augustine Obiora Akubeze has reminded the Episcopal hierarchy to remain committed to their obligations to God and the faithful in the discharge of their duties as shepherds of the Church of Christ in the country.
The CBCN President declared: “Christ the good shepherd should be the role model for all of us Bishops. Obedience and support are what the flock of Christ owe us. Respect for sound doctrine and discipline is our obligation to God and his people.” Archbishop Akubeze made these remarks in his address at the recent Episcopal ordination and installation ceremony of Most Rev. Francis Obafemi Adesina as the new Bishop of Ijebu-Ode Diocese.
The ceremony which took place at the grounds of St Anthony’s Nursery and Primary School, Igbegba Road, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State; was attended by the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Filipazzi, Cardinals John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja, Anthony Olubumi Okogie. Emeritus of Lagos, and a high powered CBCN delegation led by its President, Most Rev. Augustine Akubeze. Also in attendance were dignitaries from all walks of life within and outside the country, including government officials, traditional rulers, captains of industries, priests and religious from all parts of the country, Knights of the Church and lay faithful.
Archbishop Akubeze also used the occasion to advise the new bishop, priests, religious and the lay faithful, especially those of Ijebu-Ode Diocese. While congratulating and welcoming the new bishop to the CBCN, he urged him not to be afraid noting that the work he has accepted “is challenging and rewarding.”
While assuring Bishop Adesina of the support of his brother bishops, Archbishop Akubeze declared: “My Lord, develop a good listening and consultative attitude. Avoid creating an environment where those around you will not be truthful to you. Know that the quality and soundness of your decision will be dependent on the quality and soundness of the information you get.”
Archbishop Akubeze commended the pastoral zeal of the retired Local Ordinary of the diocese, Most Rev. Albert Fasina, describing him as “A Shepherd who smells like his sheep”. He called on the priests, religious and lay faithful of the diocese to cooperate and collaborate with their new local ordinary to enhance the spiritual and pastoral growth of the diocese.
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