Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo sociocultural organization, praised yesterday’s promotion of Most Rev. Peter Okpaleke to cardinal status by His Holiness, Pope Francis, as a significant lesson for all of mankind. Okpaleke is the Catholic Bishop of Ekwulobia Diocese in Anambra State.
Recall that Cardinal Okpaleke canonically also received the Red Hat from Pope Francis at a consistory in Rome.
In a statement by the National President of Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC), Okwu Nnabuike, Cardinal Okpaleke’s elevation came with huge moral lessons.
Okwu also recalled that Okpaleke, now Cardinal, was once rejected when he was posted to oversee Mbaise Catholic Diocese.
The statement reads: “We congratulate His Eminence, Peter Cardinal Okpaleke on his elevation to the status of a cardinal by the Pope.
“We are particularly happy because his elevation is one that came with huge moral lessons to everyone who followed the crisis that trailed his episcopal ordination and posting to Mbaise Catholic Diocese.
“While we may not dwell on that controversy, we are concerned with the moral lesson therein, which is that man’s rejection does not represent God’s plan.
“His elevation should also serve as a source of encouragement to every Igbo man aspiring to achieve one thing or the other in life.”
He also hailed the cardinal for his sense of humility, tolerance and mutual respect, stressing that “those virtues would, no doubt, make him succeed as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Nigeria.”