Posted by News Express | 29 October 2012 | 3,931 times
One of Nigeria’s foremost Catholic clerics has the potentials to become a future Pope, according to a cross section of Nigerian Catholics. He is His Grace, John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, who was last week Wednesday, Oct. 24, elevated from the position of Archbishop to that of Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI.
Among those harbouring this belief is Eddie Iroh, a frontline journalist, novelist and administrator.
“This is a day of tremendous joy for all Catholics in Nigeria,” said Iroh, a former Director-General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), while celebrating Onaiyekan’s new status.
“I have waited for this day, for I knew it was only a matter of time,” Iroh said on his Facebook wall. “Very few deserve this elevation more than my friend and my Archbishop, His Grace John Onaiyekan. Onaiyekan as a cardinal is the perfect round peg in a perfect round hole. We pray our Most High God that Onaiyekan may one day become the Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, the Catholic Church, the one that Christ himself founded on the rock of Peter.”
Responses to Iroh’s post indicated that he is not the only Nigerian Catholic who believes that Onaiyekan could one day become Supreme Pontiff or Pope.
Emmanuel Nnabuife responded: “Well said, Eddie. His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan will definitely seat in the next conclave of Cardinals. With three Cadinals from Nigeria, the Universal Church has made great progress here.”
Adding his voice, Chimezie Linus Ugwu said: “The Catholic Church is structured in such a way that the pope could be elevated from among the best in the church. We have them in good numbers here and as such it's not unlikely that one day one of our own will sit on Peter's seat. To God be the glory. The Cardinal is very much welcomed.”
And Patience Udedike concurred, saying: “Amen & Amen.”
News Express reports that even though Nigeria has produced four Cardinals (Dominic Ekandem – now deceased – Francis Arinze and Anthony Olubunmi Okogie), only Arinze was a strong contender to become Pope. He was however beaten by Germany’s Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) during the April 19, 2005 election to replace the late Pope John Paul II.
*Photo: Cardinal Onaiyekan.
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