With the attainment of the 75 years canonical retirement age from the priesthood, Pope Francis has on Saturday, November 9, 2019, finally accepted the retirement of John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja.
His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan is expected to celebrate his last Mass as Archbishop of Abuja on Sunday, November 10, 2019, and from Monday, he becomes Emeritus Archbishop of Abuja.
In the same vein, Pope Francis has ratified the appointment of Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama as the new Catholic Archbishop of Abuja.
Kaigma, the Archbishop of Jos Archdiocese, on March 1, 2019 was announced by Pope Francis who was represented by the Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi, in Abuja, during the opening ceremony of the first plenary meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, to replace Onaiyekan.
Filipazzi then named Kaigama as the Coadjutor archbishop of Abuja and administrator of Jos Archdiocese, where he served as its Chief Shepherd in the last 19 years.
In an official statement by the Chancellor of the Catholic Archdiocese Abuja, Rev. Fr. Sebastian Musa, on Saturday, November 9, through a letter to the “Clergy, Religious and Lay Faithful” of the Archdiocese, read that the Holy Father, Pope Francis has approved the retirement of Onaiyekan and ratification of Archbishop Kaigama with immediate effects. The letter urged all to pray for them.