The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Osogbo, Most Rev. John Akin Oyejola, has said that the church in Osogbo has so far spent N14,142,958 to address some of the effects of COVID-19 on members and non-members within their community. Oyejola said that the sum was expended on food items, cash support, personal hygiene and safety materials as well as public sensitization.
This was disclosed during a media briefing held as part of the activities to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Catholic Diocese of Os-ogbo. Oyejola’s announcement followed the address of the Vatican Ambassador to Nigeria, the Apostolic Muncio, Archbishop Anthonio Guido Filipazzi, who opined that the lives and activities of the church deserve more attention in the public domain because the church is doing so much for the betterment of the larger society.
His words: “What the church is doing is not so much for itself but for the larger society. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic was one that had a lot of devastating consequences all over the world – people were out of work, people could not go out, young ones cannot go to school for months now. In the midst of this situation, the church was trying to help the people in different ways, giving food, giving assistance and reaching them with the message of safety in support of what the government was doing. “During this period, the church also had its own challenges because there were no gatherings, no income; but the church remained committed to helping people and did so much in that regard.
“I am glad that the church has been very prudent and obedient to the directives of the government during this period,” Filipazzi explained. Filipazzi said that when the church is not understood, falsehood permeates the public domain, and the church gets unfairly criticised in the process.