Rev. Jude Thaddeus Okolo, first Nigerian, first African Nuncio
Well done Brother,
Pope Benedict appoints first Nigerian Nuncio
By DAVID ONWUCHEKWA, Nnewi
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The Catholic Supreme Pontiff His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Rt. Rev. Monsignor Jude Thaddeus Okolo, the Nuncio, to represent the mission in Chad and Central African Republic, a position which raises Rt Rev Monsignor Okolo to the rank of a Super Archbishop.
In a ceremony to mark the Episcopal ordination at Our Lady of Assumption Cathedral, Nnewi, Anambra State, Daily Sun gathered that Msgr. Okolo with this new position becomes the first Nigerian, first in West Africa and third in entire Africa to hold the post. His appointment coincided with his silver jubilee of priesthood in the Catholic Church.
In an apostolic mandate sent in from Rome and signed by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, Msgr Okolo received the blessings of the Supreme Pontiff, who described him as a beloved son.
Said Pope Benedict XVI: You are certainly well grounded academically, having been promoted and learned in juridical matters. You have produced numerous documents, and have given testimonies of being endowed with many virtues in the course of your activity in the service of the Catholic church.
“As we are willing to uphold what is laid down in the custom and tradition of the Apostolic See, and since we are handing over to you an administration of a higher order, we desire to appoint you equally to a corresponding dignity of the church.”
Pope Benedict, according to the mandate, gave the new Nuncio the right to receive the Episcopal consecration outside the city of Rome from any Bishop of his choice, which His Eminence, Francis Cardinal Arinze, did.
But the Pope said the new Nuncio was expected to make the Profession of Faith and also take the Oath of Fidelity to us and to our successors, according to the prescriptions of the Sacred Canons.
The ordination and oath of office, which was officiated by His Eminence Francis Cardinal Arinze, witnessed the convergence of Bishops and Archbishops from across the country and beyond.
Before his new appointment, Msgr Okolo had carried out many assignments both within and outside the country.