CATHOLIC PRINCIPLES: For Formation of Conscience For Good Citizenship
These texts are selected from a series of talks given by me at various fora in the last five years.
Chapter one is another Way of saying that Nigeria can change for the better but for that to happen virtuous people must get into the system of governance to bring about the desired change. For evil to continue to thrive in Nigeria it is because good people remain idle and continue to complain. Virtuous people are catalysts for social transformation.
Chapter two is a proposal and an invitation to good people in the Church to embrace politics in order to bring about a Virtuous Society. Such a society is value driven and men and Women called to the service of the society can find these values in the Social Teachings of the Catholic Church.
Chapter three points out the limitations of a society based on the Rule of Law. The view of the author is informed by the ancient wisdom that only virtuous people can transform a society based on the Rule of Law into a Virtuous society.
Chapter four argues that an effective and efficient electoral process is an adjunct to the democratic process. The people must own their votes and vote credible candidates who will be custodians of the Common Good. Nigeria needs a moral and ethical revolution to ensure credible elections to attain a Virtuous Society. This is a challenge that the citizens of Nigeria can no longer ignore.
Chapter five focuses on a key subject of the Social Teachings of the Church – the Common Good that guarantees the rights and duties of the citizens. Oh! In Nigeria how these ingredients of a virtuous society are used and abused! Nigerians must be informed and formed by the true understanding of the meaning of their fundamental rights and obligations vis-it-vis the Common Good.
Chapter six calls for consistent dialogue based on knowledge of ourselves with our various world views. Our cultural and religious identities must be known and respected to enhance our democratic process. Such knowledge will promote in no small measure the rule of law, the common good, fundamental rights, conscience and freedom of worship.
Chapter seven focuses on the challenge of globalization to our African identity. Western sexual and cultural ethos must respect African traditional values regarding sex, family, marriage and formation for good citizenship.
Chapter eight chronicles the danger posed to our fundamental freedoms with the advent of Boko Haram. The constitutional obligation of our government to provide security for all citizens seems to have reached a dead end. The gradual descent of the nation into the abyss of anarchy must stop.
Chapter nine is a tribute to Christian married love. Love is a gift from Almighty God. Love cannot be forced by lovers, parents or the Church. God blesses married love but not without responsibilities.
Chapter ten is one man’s acknowledgement of a true citizen of Nigeria. Gani Fawhenmi has joined the gods of our social pantheon. He loved God and Neighbour by his witness to justice in our nation. After his death he has a cloud of witnesses to continue the struggle,
N/B: The Chapters can also be downloaded individually by clicking the names.
MSGR Michael Ekpenyong
Michael Otto Ekpenyong is a Catholic Priest who holds a Masters Degree in Philosophy and Doctorate Degree in Systematic Theology from Duquesne University Pittsburg, U.S.A. At the Catholic Secretariate of Nigeria, he served at the Secretary General for a couple of years. In September 2012, he was appointed Papal Chamberline (Chaplain to the Holy Father) by his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. He is the author of Story telling Imagination and God-Talk (2002) and Beware of gods (2005), The John and the Paul in John Paul II (2010) and much more which can be accessed here.
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