President, others bid farewell to Cardinal Richard Baawobr in Wa

The President, Nana Addo Dank­wa Akufo-Addo, yesterday joined scores of mourners at the Wa Sports Stadium in the Upper West Region to bid farewell to the late Bishop of the Wa Diocese of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Richard Kuuia Baawobr, who passed on Novem­ber 27, 2022 in Rome, Italy.

The late Bishop, who had gone for his investiture after receiving news of his elevation to a cardinal, had to undergo treatment in Rome due to ill health at the time and passed on two months after his investiture on August 27, 2022.

President Akufo-Addo described the death of the bishop as a loss which would be difficult to com­pensate for as he noted that Ghana had lost one of its finest citizens who would be difficult to replace.

“Those who came into contact with him had great confidence in him and his abilities and capabili­ties to undertake the task on offer”, he said adding “his death was a matter of regret to me, the country and the church as his elevation to a Cardinal would have brought immense benefit to the country.”

President Akufo-Addo said Car­dinal Baawobr had left a big gap in the Catholic Church and the coun­try as a whole and extended his deepest condolences to his family and the entire Catholic Church.

In a speech on his behalf, Pope Francis extended condolences to the family of the deceased Cardinal and members of the Wa Diocese.

He said the demise of Cardi­nal Baawobr was a great loss but stated that his life of humility and simplicity in his faithful service to God was worth emulating and encouraged Christians to live in preparedness for the Lord’s call.

“Cardinal Richard sleeps in the Lord after a great life lived for the church and witnessing the life of Christ to all in meekness and seren­ity of the saints and we pray that the Lord would welcome him to his side”, Pope Francis said in the speech read on his behalf by the Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, the Most Reverend Henry Mieczyslaw Jagodzink

Cardinal Richard assumed responsibility as bishop of the Wa Diocese in May, 2016 and was also appointed as the Episcopal Chair­man for the Clergy and Religious and for the Inter-Religious Dia­logue Commission at the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference in the same year.

The bishop who was a native of Ko in the Nandom Munici­pality and born on June 21, 1959 to a catholic family, was ordained as priest in 1987 after taking his missionary oath in 1986 at the St. Edward’s College in London in the United Kingdom.

Before his demise, he was appointed Cardinal-Priest assigned the Titular Church of Santa Maria Immaculate di Lourdes a Boccea by the Pope after he was created and proclaimed Cardinal on August 27, 2022, at an event he could per­sonally not attend due to the illness which led to his demise.

President Akufo-Addo was accompanied by government functionaries including the Minister for the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, some Members of Parliament as well as municipal and district chief executives.

The solemn funeral mass also witnessed the presence of Cath­olic priests, bishops and cardinals across Africa and the country, traditional rulers, heads of depart­ments, students and pupils from various Catholic schools across the Wa Municipality and represen­tatives from the various political parties.


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