ROME, NOV. 20, 2012 (Zenit.org).- “The appointment of the Archbishop of Abuja, John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, to Cardinal, has aroused the pride of the whole of Nigeria,” Father Patrick Tor Alumuku, Director of Social Communications of the Archdiocese of Abuja, told the Fides news agency.
According to Father Alumuku, around 200 people from the archdiocese of Abuja will attend the ceremony to be held this Sunday, November 24. The six new cardinal are:
+ Archbishop James Michael Harvey, Prefect of the Pontifical Household, who will be appointed Archpriest of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.
+ His Beatitude Bechara Boutros Raï, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites (Lebanon).
+ His Beatitude Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, Major Archbishop of Trivandrum of the Syro- Malankara (India).
+ Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja (Nigeria).
+ Archbishop Ruben Salazar Gomez, Archbishop of Bogota (Colombia).
+ Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila (Philippines).
“When the Holy Father announced that our Archbishop would become Cardinal, all Nigerians expressed joy” said Father Alumuku.
“The Head of State immediately sent the Cardinal elected a congratulatory message, and all the religious leaders of the country, Christians and Muslims have expressed their appreciation,” he added.
“At an ecclesial level, the Catholic community is happy, and thanked His Holiness for his confidence in the Church of Nigeria, as demonstrated as well by the appointment of the Nigerian Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu as nuncio in Nicaragua,” he continued.
The Church in Nigeria is growing, Father Alumuku explained, with large numbers of vocations. Some diocesan seminaries can accommodate up to 300 seminarians, he noted.
“The Church is also very active in the social field and gives concrete hope of life to the population, thanks to hundreds of schools, hospitals and other social institutions throughout Nigeria. The Church is a catalyst for the social development of the Country,” said Father. Alumuku.