The Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma has urged Catholic authorities in Nigeria to caution their priests who convert pulpits to campaign grounds.
The Governor said the church prelates should use the conference opportunity to reaffirm the church’s impartiality.
He said it was wrong for some clergy members to turn the pulpit into a soapbox for campaigns for their preferred candidates or parties.
“I wholly understand that priests have the right and duty to hold our leaders and governments accountable, and nobody will ever stop a priest from condemning the ills in the society, including bad governance and corruption.
“It is important that you reaffirm the church’s neutrality on political matters and, thereafter, caution the priests not to dabble into partisan politics,” he said.
He further noted that the church would have lost its moral authority to pontificate if it dragged itself into partisan politics.
“Sadly, this has become the norm in many of our churches. I worry that if the church drags itself into partisan politics, then it would have lost its moral authority to pontificate because it has made itself an interested party.
“Indeed, the church cannot be on the moral pedestal to preach against certain conducts of the society if it has not gone through purification by purging itself of those who are diminishing its authority. I believe that true sanctification can only come when the church presents itself as a living testament of good, impartial, and temperate conduct. It is my sincere hope that one of your resolutions from this conference will be to condemn members of the clergy who use their positions and the church for political ends.