In a context where the ministerial priesthood is the subject of criticism and questioning throughout the world, Mgr Julius Yakubu Kundi, bishop of the Catholic diocese of Kafanchan in Nigeria, addressed a solemn appeal to priests. During the diocese’s anticipated Chrism Mass, held on Tuesday, March 26, at St. Peter Claver Cathedral, Bishop Yakubu urged priests to work to promote a “good image” of the priesthood.

In his homily relayed by the RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY correspondent based in Nigeria, the bishop highlighted the current challenges facing the priesthood, deploring the widespread criticism of all aspects of the lives of priests. He invited priests to consider their image as an “intangible currency” that they earn over time, explaining that their behavior directly influences their credibility and integrity.

Bishop Yakubu insisted on the need for personal reflection among priests, calling on them to evaluate their values, their lifestyles, their exercise of authority and their relationships with others. He stressed that while it is impossible to escape criticism, prudence must guide their leadership and teaching to reflect the image of Christ.

The bishop also addressed the consequences of “false images” of the priesthood, noting that they hurt the mystical body of Christ and hinder the work of evangelization. He encouraged priests to restore the dignity and authentic image of the Catholic priesthood, so that their ministry is a source of proximity and listening to the faithful.

The prelate reminded priests of the importance of their words and their conduct, stressing that the way they express themselves impacts the perception of the faithful. He exhorted them to reflection, prudence and fidelity in their pastoral mission, so that their priesthood would be a living incarnation of the love and truth of Christ.