Nigerian Bishop, Peter Okpaleke, named as cardinal by Pope Francis


Catholic bishop of Ekwulobia, Anambra State, Peter Okpaleke, has been named among the 21 new cardinals of the church by Pope Francis. This news was disclosed by the pope on Sunday.

The college of cardinals is a body of senior priests who assist the pope in the administration of the church. They also vote during papal elections.

The pope added that in August, he will hold a consistory — a meeting of the council of cardinals — on the new cardinals. He said, “On Saturday, 27 August, I will hold a consistory for the creation of new cardinals. Let us pray that they will help me in my mission as bishop of Rome for the good of all God’s people.”

Out of the new cardinals, eight are from Europe, six from Asia, two from Africa, one from North America, and four from Central and Latin America. Opaleke is the fourth cardinal from Nigeria — others are John Onaiyekan, Anthony Okogie and Francis Arinze.

Some notable personalities including presidential aspirant, Peter Obi and Anambra State governor, Charles Soludo, have reacted to the Okpaleke’s naming.

Soludo said, “Some good news. At noon today, May 29, 2022, after the recitation of the Regina Caeli, His Holiness Pope Francis announced that at a Consistory scheduled for August 27, 2022 will create 21 new cardinals.

“Among those to be created cardinals in His Lordship, Most Rev. Peter Ebere Okpaleke, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia.

“I am particularly excited that this canonical privilege is coming to my home Diocese, and the generality of Anambra State, another indicator of excellence for which the ‘Light of the Nation’ is renowned. This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes. Congratulations to my Lord Bishop!”

Obi said, “I am elated and full of joy with the announcement of the elevation of Bishop Peter Ebere Okpaleke of the Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia to a Cardinal. His elevation is yet another positive testimony of the many good things that can come out of Nigeria.

“As we congratulate him, we prayerfully unite in asking God to grant him success in his new position and future endeavours.”


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