6 June 2022
It is with shock and distress that we learned about the massacre of more than 50 Catholics during the Pentecost Day Mass on Sunday, 5 June 2022, in Ondo Diocese, Nigeria It is most disheartening and contradictory that when we celebrate a model of unity of humanity where :nations could talk and hear each other in their own language”, we are facing a situation where one group chooses to eliminate and kill.
These events are not unique to the north of Nigeria but are prevalent in many African countries. What is concerning is the failure of the media and other stakeholders to dig deeper into the causes of these murderous conflicts so that they can be dealt with for what they are. We call upon those entrusted with leadership and those who carried out these murders to deal with conflict issues and work for peace.
The Southern African Catholic Bishops join the Holy Father in conveying condolences to the Church in Nigeria and to the relatives of those who lost their lives. Condolences also to our many Nigerian brothers and sisters living in Southern Africa. The Church in Southern Africa and the Church in Nigeria are one body in Christ. Your pain is our pain. “As you weep and greatly mourn because your innocent brothers and sisters are no more” (Mt.2:18), we stand with you in solidarity of prayer for peace. May the blood of those who died celebrating the unity of humanity on Pentecost day serve as an impetus for peace and may their Souls Rest in Peace.
Bishop Sithembele Sipuka