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MARONITE CHURCH, FORERUNNER IN INCULTURATION – Archbishop Akubeze

The Catholic Maronite Church and other Eastern Churches have been commended for being epitome of Inculturation in the life of the Church. The commendation was made by the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Most Rev. Augustine Obiora Akubueze

Akubeze, in his address at the Episcopal ordination of Msgr. Simon Faddoul as the Bishop of the Eparchy of the Maronite Church in Nigeria.

 

The ceremony which had the Beatitude Patriach of the Maronite Church, Cardinal Mar Bechara Peter Al-Rai as the ordaining Prelate, took place in Lebanon and was attended by a four-man delegation of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), led by its President, Archbishop Augustine Obiora Akubeze of Benin City Archdiocese. Other members of the delegation were: Archbishop Gabriel Abegunrin of Ibadan, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto and Very Rev. Fr. Ralph Madu, Secretary General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN). Also present at the ceremony were dignitaries from all walks of life from within and outside Lebanon.

According to the CBCN President, the risen Christ has blessed the Universal Church with the Maronite Church sui iuris. Congratulating Bishop Faddoul and expressing the sentiments of the CBCN, priests and lay faithful of the Church in Nigeria, Bishop Akubeze declared: “We are very grateful to God who has made it possible to have the Eparchy of the Maronite with her seat of authority in Ibadan, and with Jurisdiction spanning to the whole of West and Central Africa and South Africa”.

 

He added: “We in Nigeria have for many years worked with Lebanese people. … So, naturally, we are glad when we heard of the news that Pope Francis has assented to the nomination of Msgr. Simon Faddoul as the first Bishop of the new Eparchy.”

 

Archbishop Akubeze concluded: “I admire the Eastern Churches because they set the right tone for inculturation through the preservation of your traditional heritage reflected in your rich liturgy. We, the Bishops in Nigeria will be enriched by the great Maronite tradition promoted by the great Saint of the Church, Maroun, in the 4th Century.” While congratulating the new Bishop and his flock, Archbishop Akubeze prayed that God will bring lasting peace to the “beautiful, historical ancient land of Lebanon”.

 


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