You’re A Blessing To The Church – Obi, Soludo, Tell Cardinal Okpaleke

THE presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi and the governor of Anambra State, Professor Chukwuma Soludo have congratulated the Catholic Bishop of Ekwulobia Diocese of Anambra State, His Eminence Peter Cardinal Okpaleke, who canonically received the Red Hat from His Holiness, Pope Francis, at a Consistory in Rome on Saturday, describing him as a blessing to the church.

In his congratulatory message to the new Cardinal, Obi said Okpaleke’s virtues of patience, understanding and wide perspectives on issues remained some of the valuable assets that had continued to propel him in his priestly vocation.

Obi said: “By this ecclesiastical function, you have thus become a fully fledged Prince of the Universal Church.

“Your priestly vocation has thus far been defined by exemplary conduct, deep spirituality and the admirable quality of allowing God’s purpose to unfold in your life.

“Your maturity and circumspection in crisis management are apposite for any higher managerial responsibility.

“With your rich background in relating with people and building institutions, we have no doubt that you will bring your vast knowledge and experience to bear in your new position as a Cardinal, which has effectively placed you in the first position among the clergy of the country.”

Obi said he was happy with the number of Nigerians, cutting across regions and religions, who were in Rome to identify with another Nigerian on a great occasion, adding that such spirit of love and unity is very characteristic of Nigerians.

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He prayed God to continue to bless the cleric and give him more wisdom to continue to shepherd the flock placed under his care.

In his own congratulatory message, the Governor Chukwuma Soludo expressed joy that one of the newly Cardinals named by Pope Francis is a Nigerian and ftom Anambra specifically.

Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR, has congratulated Cardinal Peter Ebere Okpalaeke, Bishop of Ekwulobia Diocese in Anambra State, on his elevation to the cardinalate by Pope Francis with twenty others across the globe

Soludo, who also attended the ceremony at St Peters’ Square, Vatican, Rome, in Company of his wife, Mrs Nonye Soludo, as a special guest and leader of Anambra delegation, described the elevation as a befitting reward for the Bishop who over the years, had shown exemplary conduct in the service of God through great personal sacrifices and outstanding contributions to ecumenical services in the church.

“With this elevation, Cardinal Okpalaeke becomes the only active Cardinal in Nigeria and also the highest in rank among Nigerian clergy men.

“On behalf of the government and good people of Anambra State, I pray that God would grant Cardinal Okpalaeke more strength, sound health and wisdom to excel in his new assignment in the vineyard of God”, the governor said.

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