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LAGOS, Nigeria (LifeSiteNews) – A Nigerian bishop reminded soon-to-be priests during an ordination Mass on Thursday that their mission is to safeguard the “deposit of faith.”

Most Rev. Augustine Akubeze, Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Benin, began in his ordination Mass homily by advising what those about to be ordained needed in order to “preach the good news of Christ” “very well.”

“You must be close to Christ in the Eucharist. You must be close to Christ in the celebration of the Holy Office. You must be close to Christ in your faithful observance of liturgical norms in the rubrics,” Akubeze said.

“You must be close to Christ in your fidelity to the commitment of chaste celibacy, poverty, and in your submission of your will to your bishop and your superior. You must be close to Christ in your fidelity to the message of Christ that you preach,” he continued.

Akubeze emphasized that living out their priesthood well is not a “one and done” matter, but something they must make active efforts to continually nourish.

“The message of St. Paul to Timothy is that he should fan into flame the gift of God he has received at ordination. It is of paramount importance for us priests to continue this fanning into flame this gift of God,” Akubeze advised.

He encouraged the soon-to-be ordained priests to “continue to improve” themselves “in areas of ongoing information,” counseling them: “Spend time reading Catholic books, commentaries on Scripture, sound theological books, and then spend time on personal reflection.”

“Our mission as priests is to promote, protect and preserve the deposit of faith entrusted to the church,” Akubeze explained.

Akubeze echoed the calls of faithful prelates — such as those of Bishop Joseph Strickland and Bishop Athanasisus Schneider — for a focus on the importance of defending doctrine in the face of growing defiance of Catholic Church teaching by pockets of clergy.

Such opposition to Church magisterial teaching has not only taken hold in Germany, where bishops collectively endorsed the overturning of Church teaching via the “Synodal Way,” slammed by Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller as “anti-Catholic.”

Rejection of the deposit of faith has also, for years now, crept into the words and suggestions of Pope Francis. Some of these statements “pose a grave danger to faith and morals,” according to a growing body of theologians and clergy.

For example, Amoris Laetitia conveys that couples living in an objective state of mortal sin may receive Holy Communion without confession under certain circumstances, a claim that  “denies that there are acts that by their very nature are intrinsically evil,” according to Claudio Pierantoni, a drafter of the open letter to Pope Francis accusing him of heresy.