A prominent Nigerian archbishop advised his fellow clergy against a sense of complacency and security which ends up damaging the Church.
“I have observed among us priests and religious is a lack of proper
sense of mission, a lack of serious missionary commitment and a lack of
missionary creativity,” Archbishop Mathew Man’Oso Ndagoso of Kaduna said
in his Jan. 11 homily for the episcopal consecration of Philip Davou
Dung as Bishop of Shendam.
Archbishop Ndagoso said he has seen a lack of pastoral planning and
implementation, which proceeds from a nonchalant and lethargic attitude,
calling it “the deadly virus of complacency”.
He lamented a pastoral mindset which relies on pews being filled because of an established Catholic identity.
“We like to bask in the euphoria of our being the first and well
established Roman Catholic Church founded on Peter the Rock with no
sense of urgency to proclaim the gospel,” said Archbishop Ndagoso,
adding that parishioners are being devoured by wolves “without any
serious concern except that of assuring and reassuring ourselves that
when some leave, others will come in on their own”
Archbishop Ndagoso emphasized that the time for waiting on people to
fill the pews is an outdated practice, and now is the time in which the
gospel must be lived outwardly: “Ours is the era of the shepherd leaving
the 99 sheep and going out in search of the lost one.”
“We must therefore avoid the temptation of feeling secure in our well
established church and rest content with our huge attendance at
Finally, Archbishop Ndagoso said we should be wary of false security and of and men masquerading as persons of God.
The living out the gospel needs to be a watchfulness and an extension
into society, and cannot be lived out complacently, he reflected.