Pope Francis of the Catholic Church, Thursday, ordained the new Abakaliki Catholic Bishop, Rev Peter Chukwu, who is now the 3rd Abakaliki Catholic Bishop, following the retirement of Rev. Nnachi Okoro.
The ordination took place at the Saint Theresa’s Cathedral, Abakaliki.
Pope Francis who was represented at the event by Rev. Antonio Filipazzi, the Apostolic Nuncio of the Catholic Church, told it’s members that they must root out seed of division, discord among them.
He said Catholics all over the world were one family and must avoid particularistic and selfish attitude.
He said: “If you want to build the church as a family, it is necessary to avoid all ethnocentrism and excessive particularism. Try instead to consider reconciliation and grow communion between different ethnic group.
“We Catholics are one family not because we have black ties that unite us. We are one family because we are saved by the one redeemer Jesus Christ, washed by the one baptism marked by the same holy spirit, nourished by the one heavenly bread.
“I said this today because it is all about in the occasion of appointment of Bishop but this particularistic and selfish attitude emerges. This must stop, this must stop. Without pointing the fingers on others, everyone in the church must root out from himself, from herself, any seed of division and discord.
“Dear brothers and sisters, as everyone in the Diocese of Abakaliki welcome the new Bishop, may all commit themselves to overcoming what divides us at every level and to bring in truth, charity and humility, true family within the great family of the universal church”, he told the church.
While urging the new Bishop to ensure material growth of the church, he reminded him that spiritual growth was the most important in the Diocese.
Earlier, in his letter to the new Bishop, Pope Francis urged the Church to zealously carry out the ministry entrusted to him as the Bishop of the Diocese.
He described Chukwu as manager of scare resource with sound doctrine, pastoral diligent and outstanding expert.
Over 50 Catholic Bishops witnessed the event which was attended by Governor Dave Umahi, his Deputy, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Ogbonna Nwifuru, former Governor of Ebonyi state, Chief Martin Elechi, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, National Assembly members from the state among others.
Governor David Umahi in his remarks, said his administration’s partnership with the Catholic church has rapidly transformed the state.
He described the ordination and installation of Chukwu as divine and highly acceptable by all the people of Ebonyi state and assured the new Bishop of adequate support to succeed.
In his response, Chukwu, who was ordained a Catholic Priest on 3rd July, 1993, said though he feels little and inadequate to be the Bishop the Diocese, he thanked Pope Francis for finding him worthy of the position.