…He is the fifth Nigerian Ordained Cardinal.
…Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR, Witnessed His Ordination and Congratulated The New Cardinal.
By Charles Edet
Cardinal Peter Ebere Okpalaeke, Bishop of Ekwulobia Diocese in Anambra State, has been elevated to the cardinalate by Pope Francis with twenty others across the globe.
Cardinal Okpalaeke who was ordained on the the 27th of August at a Consistory in the Vatican City in Rome, received his Red Hat making him one of the Princes of the Universal Church, at the St. Peter’s Square of the Vatican City.
His ordination makes him the fifth Nigerian Bishop to be ordained a Cardinal of the global church. Catholics in Nigeria expressed great joy on his ordination by the Pope.
Sir Chijioke Obi and Sir Prince Chima, rejoiced with the Cardinal on his elevation and prayed God to continue to strengthen him.
Governor Soludo, who witnessed the success vent at St Peters’ Square, Vatican, Rome, in Company of his wife, Mrs Nonye Soludo, as a Special Guest and leader of Ndi Anambra delegation, Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR, congratulated the Cardinal and described his elevation as a befitting reward for the Bishop who over the years, has shown exemplary conduct in the service of God through great personal sacrifices and outstanding contributions to ecumenical services in the Church.
Also felicitating with the Cardinal, Mr Obiora Mbonu, a renowned Catholic, prayed God to continue sustaining the Cardinal for his service to God and blessings.
With this elevation, Cardinal Okpalaeke becomes the only active Cardinal in Nigeria and also the highest in rank among Nigerian clergy men.
Recall that Nigeria has had four Cardinals before the appointment of His Eminence, Cardinal Peter Ebere Okpalaeke, namely: Dominic Cardinal Ekandem of blessed memory, Francis Cardinal Arinze, Anthony Cardinal Okojie and John Cardinal Onaiyekan respectively.
On behalf of the Government and good people of Anambra State, Governor Soludo prayed that God would grant Cardinal Okpalaeke more strength, sound health and wisdom to excel in his new assignment in the vineyard of God.