By Sam Eyoboka, with Agency Reports
AS the sexual abuse scandal convulsed the Catholic Church in the US and Europe, the Vatican, Sunday, went on the defensive as Pope Benedict XV1, said that his faith would give him the courage not to be intimidated by critics.
Addressing tens of thousands of faithful in a sunny St Peterâ€™s Square at the Vatican in a Palm Sunday service to herald the Holy Week events commemorating the last days in Jesusâ€™s life, the 82-year-old pontiff did not directly mention the scandal involving sexual abuse of children by priests, parts of his sermon could be applicable to the crisis he and the church are currently facing.
In Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Jos and nationwide, gaily dressed Christians marched through designated streets to demonstrate the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem while the clerics urged the nationâ€™s leaders to emulate the humility displayed by the progenitor of the Christian faith.
At the Methodist Church, Tinubu, Lagos,the Prelate, His Eminence Sunday Ola Makinde, asked our leaders to always remember the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ riding a donkey instead of a horse which symbolised strength and power.
â€œOur leaders today ride in exotic jeeps and sleek cars while the people who elected them wallow in abject poverty,â€ the prelate said, adding that the nationâ€™s politicians must, therefore, humble themselves and ensure they uplift the living standards of the poor of the country.
According to him, while Jesus was riding the donkey, the people were shouting ”Hossanna,” which meant that their saviour had come, stressing that Nigerians are daily crying ”Hossanna,” indicating that they are in dire need of a deliverer more than ever before.
â€œThe nationâ€™s leaders, therefore, must take advantage of this season and turn a new leaf by harnessing the nationâ€™s enormous resources for the benefit of the people of the country who have not enjoyed the dividends of democracy over 10 years of democratic practice,â€ Makinde added.
Also, Director, Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Rev. Monsignor Osu, hammered on the need for our politicians to humble themselves as Jesus did and institute programmes that will be of benefit to the generality of Nigerians.
Osu, also the parish priest of St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Ebute-Meta, added that Nigerian leaders live in exclusive areas and ride in exotic cars while their subjects find it extremely difficult to maintain their families.
According to the cleric, the resources available to the managers of the nationâ€™s economy are more than sufficient to make every Nigerian comfortable but because of the greed and avarice of the nationâ€™s politicians millions of Nigerians are daily finding it difficult to live worthy lives.