By Rev. Fr. Anthony Adetayo
The Lagos Ecclesiastical Province (LEP) Bishops’ Conference was held on Monday 23rd January, 2023 at St. Agnes Catholic Church, Maryland, Lagos. The annual plenary conference which began around 10:0am had in attendance the Archbishop of Lagos; Most Rev. Alfred Martins Adewale, Emeritus Archbishop of Lagos; Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie, the Bishop of Abeokuta Diocese; Most Rev. Peter Odetoyinbo, the Bishop of Ijebu-Ode Diocese; Most Rev. Francis Obafemi Adesina, provincial executives of all organizations, societies, sodalities and communication directors of the province.
In the course of the meeting, each of these groups reported the development in their respective constituencies; from successes to recommendations. The Bishops also gave their exaltation encouraging these groups and designing a way forward.
The state of the nation was prominent in the discussion of the day. The Bishops insist on proper sensitization and awareness towards the forthcoming election by parishes through various parish organs. The Bishops encouraged intensive collection of PVCs by everyone. It was discussed that accredited election observers across the nation were requested for by the INEC and the 6000 Catholics who have been involved should take the advantage of doing the right thing.
After the report from Church and Society, Archbishop Alfred Martins said “we are making a special request for awareness and campaign against human trafficking, sexual harassment and gender based violence in our Province.” This means that youth empowerment must be a focus for us.
The Directorate of Social Communications of the Province also presented a report about the low response to promoting diocesan newspaper publications. Bishop Adesina responded that organizations in the church should foster the sales and publication of the weekly or monthly newspapers. Every Sunday, the youths should take good pictures of events at a token for the newspaper. For him, “more youths should help in broadcasting and people should advertise more for subsidy and wider patronage.”
The conference which lasted for about 3 hours came to an end with the Episcopal blessing of Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie.