AKURE, Nigeria (LifeSiteNews) – A Nigerian bishop decried Ireland’s president linking a recent massacre in the African country to climate change as “rubbing salt” in the wounds of Nigerian terrorism victims.
Bishop Jude Ayodeji Arogundade of the Diocese of Ondo rebuked Irish President Michael D. Higgins for his comments on the June 5 massacre of at least 40 attendees of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Nigeria.
Higgins issued a statement on June 7 in which he condemned the attack, but focused most of his remarks on climate change, which he suggested is the root cause of the attack.
“That such an attack was made in a place of worship is a source of particular condemnation, as is any attempt to scapegoat pastoral peoples who are among the foremost victims of the consequences of climate change,” Higgins stated.
He added, “The neglect of food security issues in Africa for so long has brought us to a point of crisis that is now having internal and regional effects based on struggles, ways of life themselves.”
Arogundade responded June 10, thanking Higgins for his condemnation of the attack but slamming his “reasons for this gruesome massacre” as “incorrect and far-fetched.”
“Terrorists are on free loose slaughtering, massacring, injuring, and installing terror in different parts of Nigeria since over eight years not because of any reasonable thing but because they are evil — period,” he added.
Arogundade further stated, “To suggest or make a connection between victims of terror and consequences of climate change is not only misleading but also exactly rubbing salt to the injuries of all who have suffered terrorism in Nigeria.”
A Nigerian government official reported that the insurgent group Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) is suspected to be responsible for the massacre. According to Reuters, Interior Minister Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola announced Thursday, “We have been able to see the footprint of ISWAP in the horrendous attack in Owo and we are after them.”
Bishop Robert McElroy (right) is to be made a cardinal in August, despite his inaction on allegations against notorious ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
We all have a responsibility to speak up when serious wrongs are being brought to our attention, but McElroy didn't.
SIGN this petition to demand Pope Francis not reward a bishop who failed to report allegations against McCarrick
The Bishop of San Diego was told about serious sexual wrongdoing by McCarrick in 2016 when psychotherapist Richard Sipe, who had interviewed numerous victims of McCarrick, sent him a detailed letter, but McElroy sat on that information and is now being made a cardinal.
Appointing him to the College of Cardinals is not only an insult to those who suffered clerical sex-abuse, but also to those who are intent on ridding the Church of such evil.
This decision to make McElroy a cardinal must be reversed, and the only way to make that happen is with pressure from the laity.
SIGN and SHARE this petition to stop the appointment of Bishop McElroy to the College of Cardinals
Sipe told McElory that numerous seminarians and priests reported sexual advances and activity by McCarrick in a letter that also detailed extensive abuse by other clerics.
"I have interviewed twelve seminarians and priests who attest to propositions, harassment, or sex with McCarrick," the psychotherapist told McElroy in the 2016 letter, adding: "None so far has found the ability to speak openly at the risk of reputation and retaliation."
McElroy, who claims there was no corroborating evidence, could have brought the allegations to the pope, or even to the Papal Nuncio, but instead ended the correspondence with Sipe, himself a clerical sex-abuse victim.
It would take another year for the truth about McCarrick to slowly emerge in public.
SIGN the petition to stop Bishop McElroy being elevated to the College of Cardinals
Turning a blind eye to serious allegations of sexual wrongdoing is reprehensible in any context, but particularly when a bishop, a shepherd of souls, does so.
He also supports giving Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians, contrary to the Church's teaching, while he has concelebrated LGBT Masses as bishop and claimed Fr. James Martin's attempt to normalize the LGBT ideology is "fully consonant with Catholic teaching".
The sad truth is that McElroy is not fit to continue as a bishop, let alone become a cardinal.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition to stop the rot that continues to tarnish Christ's Church.
We must do what we can to clean up this mess now.
Bishop McElroy was warned about McCarrick - LifeSiteNews
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Photo: Theodore McCarrick and Bishop Robert McElroy (Lisa Bourne/LifeSiteNews & Diocese of San Diego/YouTube)
According to watchdog group Open Doors USA, Nigeria ranks as the seventh worst country in the world for persecution of Christians, with Islamic oppression being the main cause. The oppression is of such intensity and frequency such that it is considered by the group to be “extreme.”
“Persecution in Nigeria is, simply put, brutally violent,” the advocacy group explained in their summary of Nigeria’s state of affairs for Christians. “In much of northern Nigeria, Christians live their lives under the constant threat of attack from Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), Fulani militants and criminals who kidnap and murder with few consequences.”
The group noted that “the attacks and insecurity have also spread to southern Nigeria,” where the Diocese of Ondo is located.
Catholic News Agency reported that “at least 4,650 Nigerian Christians were killed for their faith in 2021 and nearly 900 in the first three months of 2022.”
British human rights advocate David Alton joined Arogundade in criticizing comments like Higgins’, writing June 12 on his website, “It is striking how quickly politicians and commentators trot out the same discredited banal narrative that the drivers for such carnage are climate change and lack of resources.”
“They say that the causes are ‘complicated,’ with hardly a mention of the jihadist ideology that is behind the endless atrocities of ISIS and Boko Haram,” Alton added.