John Cardinal Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, a foremost prelate of the Catholic Church, was seventy three yesterday. He has served forty eight of these years within the Lord’s winery as a priest having been ordained in 1969. From the time he was consecrated an Auxilliary Bishop of Ilorin Diocese in 1983 and later the substantive Bishop, the Cardinal has spent 34 years shepherding his flock in an episcopal capability. He has additionally been Archbishop of Abuja since 1994, succeeding the pioneer Bishop, the late His Eminence, Dominic Cardinal Ekandem, and was created a Cardinal himself by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, in a consistory on November 24, 2012. As Cardinal-priest, he was assigned to the titular church of San Saturnino. In that capability, he was one of many cardinal electors who participated within the 2013 papal conclave that elected Pope Francis.
He describes himself as an ‘unworthy servant’. However regardless of that immense modesty, he has demonstrated an internationally acclaimed choice for peace not simply inside his personal fold, the Catholic Church, but additionally throughout denominations and religion. Onaiyekan is a extremely wanted character even in lay fora the place world peace is the topic. His postulations on the difficulty have made him a recognisable voice. He has served as President of the Christian Affiliation of Nigeria (CAN) throughout which interval he stamped his integrity on that affiliation which is meant to be a unifying discussion board for all Christians in Nigeria, and in addition as President of the highly effective Catholic Bishops’ Convention of Nigeria in 2000.
In recognition of his predilection for peace, he was named Pax Christi Worldwide’s 2012 Peace Laureate and likewise LEADERSHIP Newspapers Group ‘Individual of the Yr’ in 2012 for his peace strikes that averted a critical non secular disaster on the onset of the Boko haram insurgency. In October 1980, Pope John Paul II named Onaiyekan to a 5-12 months time period on the Worldwide Theological Fee. In November of the identical 12 months, he joined the Worldwide Catholic/Methodist Dialogue Fee.
Onaiyekan was born within the city of Kabba, in what’s now Kogi State, on January 29, 1944. He attended St. Mary’s Catholic College in Kabba from 1949 to 1956, Mount St. Michael’s Secondary Faculty in Aliade, Benue State, from 1957 to 1962, and Saints Peter and Paul Main Seminary in Bodija, Ibadan, from 1963 till 1965. He accomplished his spiritual research in Rome in 1969 and was ordained as a priest on August three of that yr by Bishop Auguste Delisle of Ilorin.
The late Premier of Previous Northern Area, Sir Ahmadu Bello, in appreciation of younger John Onaiyekan’s sensible efficiency within the Odd Stage examination had provided him a scholarship to check overseas. He politely turned down the provide preferring a vocation of priesthood that has outlined his life to today.
On the Vatican, a metropolis that parades a galaxy of tremendous brains, Onaiyekan has held his personal so admirably that on January 31, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Religion (CDF) and a member of the Presidential Committee of the Pontifical Council for the Household, positions he’ll formally maintain till his eightieth birthday. Additionally, Pope Francis appointed him to a 5-12 months renewable time period as a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Self-discipline of the Sacraments in October 2016.
Onaiyekan, in his priestly sojourn, had taught at St. Kizito’s School, Isanlu, in 1969. He turned rector of St. Clement’s Junior Seminary in Lokoja in 1971, accomplished his Licentiate of Sacred Scriptures in 1973 and earned his doctorate in 1976. He turned Vice Rector of Saints Peter and Paul, his alma mater in 1977.
A person identified to face up towards injustice and political tyranny, Onaiyekan was a type of who informed the reality to energy and warned then President Olusegun Obasanjo of the implication of his administration’s failure to help democratic ideas in addition to its tendencies to be corrupt and urged him to neglect a 3rd time period in workplace and to r
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