13 December 2011

Nigeria: Bishops Laud Senate for Outlawing Gay Marriage

The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has urged the Federal Government to do a thorough consultation with reasonable consensus before taking the final decision in the controversial issue of fuel subsidy removal.

This was contained in a statement at the end of the meeting of Administrative Board of the CBCN Abuja jointly signed by Most Rev. Felix Alaba Job, President, CBCN/Archbishop of Ibadan and Most Rev. Adewale Martins, Secretary, CBCN/Catholic Bishop of Abeokuta.

"No one can deny how complex the controversy on fuel subsidy has turned out to be. Nigerians have made so much sacrifice in the past with little or no reward to show for their pains. We wish to state clearly that such an important issue as this be decided only by a reasonable consensus after thorough consultation. It is the only way indeed to build up new hope in the life of the people being governed," the statement said.

On the issue of same sex marriage, the bishops lauded the Senate for outlawing it in the face of considerable internal and international pressure.

"We wish to strongly support the prohibition of same-sex union as an expression both of our cultural values as Nigerians and our religious belief as Christians. Far from being a denial of the fundamental right of some Nigerians who would engage in it, such a prohibition protects our society from the usurpation of its right to moral health and cultural decency.

"We declare that no country has the right to impose on another such conditions as are likely to upset its common cultural and societal values just to satisfy the erotic desires and tendencies of a few," the statement said.

"More recently, terrorist activities such as the Boko Haram menace and kidnapping have driven many almost to despair. We simply can no longer hide our heads in the sand," they said.

On the issue of terrorist attacks, the bishops commended the Arewa Consultative Forum for bringing the issue of reconciliation, dialogue, justice and peace to the fore in its recent conference "just as our Church's Justice, Development and Peace organs continue nationwide to invest in and promote dialogue, justice and peaceful coexistence."

"We urge all, the leaders and the led in Nigeria, to sincerely work for peace and reconciliation through dialogue, mutual respect and justice in order to salvage the land from those who would destroy it and its peoples."

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