Pope Francis appoints new bishop for Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja

Pope Francis waves to crowds as he arrives to his inauguration mass on 19 March 2013.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis has appointed a new bishop to replace the outgoing Catholic Bishop of Abuja, John Onaiyekan.

The appointee, Ignatius Kaigama, before his confirmation acted as Co-adjutor for the Archdiocese of Abuja.

In a letter seen by PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday and signed by Sebastian Musa, it said Mr Kaigama’s appointment is to take effect from November 9.

“The Holy Father, Pope Francis has accepted the retirement of His Eminence, John Cardinal Olorunfemi Onaiyekan as Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja and has appointed Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama as Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja with effect from this announcement.

“May I humbly request that you kindly remember in your prayers our Archbishop Emeritus-John Cardinal 0. Onaiyekan Archbishop Ignatius A. Kaigama,” the letter reads.

Mr Kaigama a former President of the Catholic Bishops Conference, was until his recent appointment, the archbishop of Jos, a position he has occupied for the past 19 years.

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Mr Kaigama is replacing Mr Onaiyekan after the cardinal reached 75 years in January. The mandatory retirement age for bishops in the Catholic church is 75.

Mr Onaiyekan was ordained Catholic Bishop of Abuja in 1994, four years after he became Coadjutor of the diocese in 1990.

His 61-year-old successor was ordained priest on June 6, 1981, and consecrated bishop on April 23, 1995.


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