News & Events
Sacerdotium Et Regnum
- May 21, 2015
- Posted by: Webmaster2019
- Category: Faculty Lecture
Just before the general election in March 2015 the question was asked in certain quarters in Nigeria who or what political party the Catholic Church was supporting. Or who were the Catholic Bishops asking Catholics in Nigeria to vote for in the general election? A more poignant open letter was written to the Archbishop Obinna of Owerri Archdiocese asking him to as a matter of urgency address the Catholics of the archdiocese to get rid of their governor. Why is it necessary that the Church or the Bishops speak to us on matters as banal as election, don’t mind that this is Nigeria’s general elections? We usually are supposed to have it every four years unless there is a “force majeure”, usually a military coup d’état in Nigeria.
The answer is not farfetched. It is all about Power and Authority, and in our own peculiar situation who controls the oil wealth. At this Faculty Lecture I do not speak about Ecclesiastical authorities in Nigeria directing Catholics or anyone else on how or who to vote for in the forthcoming general elections, nor do I speak about the exercise of power and authority in Nigeria. I address a historical question relating to the exercise of authority and power in the Christian society of the Middle Ages. Specifically, I address the contest of authority and power between the imperium and the sacerdotium (priesthood), between Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and Pope Alexander III in the twelfth century.
 See “Open letter to Archbishop Obinna: Why Okorocha should go” by Clem Aguiyi in the Sun News of 27th March 2015. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria in its Communiqué at the end its First Plenary Meeting of this year held from the 20th-26th February, 2015 urged Nigerians: “For the sake of our children, and for the sake of generations yet unborn, let us see one another, irrespective of the families to which we belong, as members of the same family-the family of Nigeria.”