Dialogue "can lead to the resolution of the crisis ... not the exchange of bombs (or) blowing up of crude oil installations that will lead to further destruction of lives and properties," said Bishop Joseph Egerega, who retired as head of the Apostolic Vicariate of Bomadi in April.
The vicariate, based in Ughelli, Nigeria, includes the area under attack.
"When politicians (and) leaders of various groups disagree among themselves, they adopt dialogue to resolve such (disagreements), and that is why I am canvassing for dialogue," Bishop Egerega told Catholic News Service in a telephone interview.
Bishop Egerega lamented that the crisis was affecting the masses; he used the African saying that when two elephants fight it is the grass that suffers.
"Here, the masses are the grasses, while guns and ammunition procured from the taxes paid by the masses are being used to kill them," he
Bishop Egerega, who served as a naval officer before being appointed bishop, said the church would be willing to send relief materials to victims of the violence.