Cardinal Okpaleke takes Canonical Possession of Church of Martyrs of Uganda, Rome Today, Sunday February 5, 2023
The Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia, His Eminence, Peter Ebere Cardinal Okpaleke, will take Canonical possession of the Church Of Martyrs Of Uganda, Rome.
The special ceremony takes place today, Sunday, February 5, 2023 in a concelebrated Holy Mass led by Cardinal Okpaleke, alongside other priests from Nigeria and Rome.
It should be recalled that the Bishop of Ekwulobia Diocese was on Sunday, May 29, 2022, raised to a Cardinal by Pope Francis, alongside 20 others with the Consistory that came up later on August 27, 2022 at St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome.
As traditional in the Church, and as a sign of his closeness to the Pope, exercising pastoral collaboration with the Pontiff, Cardinal priests, that is diocesan bishops, who are Cardinals are assigned a particular church within the diocese of Rome as its proper pastor. They are equally expected to attend all major functions done in that church and officiate in them. One major function which is critical is the canonical possession of the parish and this confers legitimacy to the priest (in this instance the Cardinal) as the proper pastor of the parish with full rights and privileges. A priest however is also appointed to work in the church as an administrator who does the day to day pastoral work in the parish and reporting to the proper pastor.
Recall, that, the Martyrs of Uganda from which the church in Rome derived its name and is dedicated to, was led by Charles Lwanga and his twenty-one companions. These were Catholics who suffered martyrdom in Uganda from 1885 to 1887.
There were however twenty-three Anglican Christians who suffered same martyrdom. This was under the reign of King Mwanga of Uganda, who mostly being a serial pedophile wanted to indulge in immoral obscenity with them which however was stoutly resisted and who in anger sentenced them to death, mainly by installment between the year, 1885 to 1887.
The youngest of them being Kizito, aged 14 years was said to have been thrown into a boiling cauldron, was singing and thanking God for the gift of martyrdom till he breathed his last. Others were executed due to their refusal to deny their faith in Jesus Christ. On October 18th, 1964, Pope Paul V1 canonized them (Catholics) saints for dying for their faith.
We pray the good Lord to bless and protect our bishop on this historic event in Rome and beseech Him to safely bring him back to CADEK family ,that loves him so much.
Credit: Maranatha Newspaper