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Pope Appoints Ex-Bishop Of Ahiara Diocese, Ebere Okpaleke Bishop Of The Newly Created Ekwulobia Diocese In Anambra State.

Published by on March 8th, 2020.


There has been jubilation
among the teeming Catholic
faithful in Anambra since
news filtered in that Pope
Francis has established the
Diocese of Ekwulobia, and
named Bishop Peter Ebere
Okpaleke as its first bishop.

Okpaleke until this
appointment was the
Emeritus Bishop of Ahiara
Diocese who resigned for
peace to reign in the
protracted crisis over the
appointment of an
indigenous bishop of the
troubled Diocese of Ahiara.

Catholic Bishop of Awka
Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus
Ezeokafor who read the letter
from the Vatican announcing
the appointment of Bishop
Okpaleke as the new Bishop
of Ekwulobia Diocese to the
faithful at St Patrick’s
Catholic Cathedral, Awka,
described the development
as a “pleasant news with joy
and gladness.”

Bishop Ezeokafor disclosed
that the new diocese was
formed from a part of the
territory of the Diocese of
Awka, and would be a
suffragan See of the
Metropolitan See of Onitsha
while the newly-created
diocese would cover Akpu,
Ekwulobia and Achina
regions.

The bishop said a series of
letters were written to the
pope regarding the creation
of new dioceses out of Awka
Diocese in the past but the
Vatican City turned it down
and instead opted for an
auxiliary bishop. He said he
was surprised to receive a
mail yesterday notifying him
of the creation of Ekwulobia
as a diocese and the
appointment of Bishop
Okpaleke as its first bishop.

“We had written lots of
letters in the past asking the
Vatican to give us two more
dioceses, Ekwulobia and
Adazi. It was turned down.
They asked us instead to
apply for an auxiliary bishop
which we did and Bishop
Jonas Benson was appointed
as an auxiliary bishop in the
year 2014. We did not stop
there.

‘We continued to push
because here in Awka
Diocese, we have the highest
number of priests and Awka
is too big for one person to
handle even with an auxiliary
bishop. It was not easy. We
are glad for this great news.
We thank Pope Francis for
these appointments; it is a
great relief,” Bishop
Ezeokafor concluded.

Reacting, the Awka Diocesan
Chancellor, Very Fr. Francis
Chidume, the Episcopal Vicar
of Ekwuluobia region and the
Parish Priest of St. Joseph’s
Catholic Church, Ekwulobia,
Rev. Fr. Ignatius
Onwuatuegwu and the
administrator of St. Patrick’s
Cathedral, Very Rev. Fr.
Matthew Attansey expressed
gratitude to God for the
creation of Ekwulobia
Diocese and also for the
appointment of Bishop
Okpaleke as the first bishop.

Credits: Suns Newspaper and Blowjamz Media.

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