Pope appoints Kukah to Vatican’s highest decision-making body on inter-religious dialogue

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Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Sokoto, as member of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Vatican City.

The 13-member Council is the highest decision and policy-making body for the Council for the Holy Father.

Mr. Kukah’s appointment follows on the heels of the appointment of His Grace Archbishop John Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja as a Cardinal.

Fr. Sixtus Onuh, Chancellor, Diocese of Sokoto, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Mr. Kukah’s new appointment was an addition to others already bagged by him.

In May, the President of the Conference of Bishops of English and French speaking West Africa announced Kukah’s appointment as the Chairman of the Commission on Culture, Inter-religious Dialogue and Ecumenism.

In February, he was elected Chairman of the Commission on Inter-religious Dialogue for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria.

Bishop Kukah had earlier served the Council in a five-year tenure when Francis Cardinal Arinze served as President of the Council.

He was a delegate at the just-concluded Synod of Bishops for the New Evangelisation in the Vatican, Fr. Onuh said.