Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) yesterday warned priests against public endorsement of candidates for political office.
The bishops enjoined them not to see liturgical ceremonies as an opportunity for political campaigns.
CBCN President, Most Rev. Augustine Akubeze, and the Secretary, Most Rev. Camillus Umoh, said this in a statement yesterday in Abuja.
The bishops disclosed that the Catholic Church remains apolitical and does not endorse, or subscribe to any political party.
They said, as teachers of the faith and morals, they have serious obligation to educate the faithful on their role in the political life of the country.
The bishops said: “We have observed that the political atmosphere is very tense and also noticed the political realignment that is taking place.
“Some politicians are changing political parties and urging their followers to switch over their support to their new parties as well.”
They declared that ecclesiastical properties should not be used as places for support for any political candidate or party.
The clerics advised all priests to avoid giving the impression that the Catholic Church favours one candidate, or political party over another.
The statement reads: “These are difficult times in the history of Nigeria. As people of faith, we must work hard and also pray for the future of Nigeria.
“During the military rule, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) composed the Prayer for Nigeria in Distress, Dearly beloved in Christ, Nigeria is in distress.”
They urged Catholics to recite the prayer at all masses and other liturgical celebrations and entrust Nigeria into the hands of God by imploring Him to improve the situation in the country.
“May God intervene in the life of Nigeria once again, so that we can enjoy true peace, justice, and prosperity,” they said.