Letter to Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria Expressing Solidarity with the Church in Nigeria in Wake of Recent Violent Incidents, March 19, 2010
March 19, 2010
Most Reverend Job Felix Alaba Adeosin
Archbishop of Ibadan
President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria
P.O. Box 951
Dear Archbishop Alaba Adeosin:
As Chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, I write to express solidarity with the Church and people of Nigeria in the wake of the terrible recent incidents of violence, death and suffering that have occurred in Nigeria.
We share the concern that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria articulated in your February 2010 Pastoral Letter regarding the acts of hostility that have occurred among ethnic and religious communities within Nigeria. We affirm your call to the Nigerian Government to make public the outcome of investigations into riots that took place in Jos and other cities. The cycle of violence that goes back many years must cease.
Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, spoke for us all when he said, “My deepest condolences also go to the victims of the terrible violence that has bloodied Nigeria, not even sparing defenseless children. Once again I say from the bottom of my heart that violence does not resolve conflicts, but only increases their tragic consequences. I appeal to those who hold positions of civil and religious responsibility in the country to strive for the security and peaceful coexistence of all the population. Finally, I express my closeness to Nigerian pastors and faithful and pray that, strong and firm in hope, they may be true witnesses of reconciliation.”
Catholic Relief Services, the relief and development agency of our Conference, is working with the Diocese of Jos to come to the aid of those who have been affected by the violence. I am confident that together with the local Church CRS will do what it can to help alleviate the suffering.
I look forward to our Conference’s upcoming visit to Nigeria later this year when I hope to have the opportunity to demonstrate solidarity in person and to learn more about how the Church is work to promote justice, peace and reconciliation in your beloved country. Until then, I remain
Fraternally yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Howard J. Hubbard
Bishop of Albany
Chairman, Committee on International Justice and Peace
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops