by Rachel Ogbu
In a Christmas message, the bishop of Kaduna Catholic Diocese, Most Rev. Mathew Ndagoso, said the Catholic Church body in the state had forgiven Islamist sect, Boko Haram, over the series of bomb attacks on the church.
This comes after the Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday December 25 called for an end to the “savage acts of terrorism” that frequently target Christian churches in Nigeria, during his own traditional Christmas message in the Vatican.
However, Ndagoso said forgiveness became imperative since Jesus Christ was born on Christmas Day as a peacemaker, adding that essence of celebrating the birth of Christ was forgiveness. The sect had claimed responsibility for the bombing of Saint Rita Catholic Church, Ungwan Yero, Malali and other churches.
He said there was no point celebrating Christmas with rancor, malice and revenge.
Ndagoso said, “As we celebrate Christmas, we remember the killing of our members and bombing of our churches, particularly Saint Rita Catholic Church, Ungwan Yero, Badarawa, Kaduna. We can only pray for the souls of the departed to rest in peace.
“We thank the state government, individuals and different organisations for standing behind us during these turbulent times.
“There is nothing we can do to our enemies but to forgive them. This Christmas time. We must show love and forgive one another for peace to reign in our society.
“We should remember that over 2,000 years, during Jesus time on earth. He faced a similar persecution, humiliation and death in the hands of those that were supposed to love Him, but even at that He forgave them. He is born for our sake, and He died for our sake.
“So violence, being it religious, political, economic and social, has been there long time ago in the history of humanity.”