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Cardinal Richard Baawobr dies unexpectedly

  • Religion

Cardinal Richard Baawobr has returned to the house of the Father. The sad news was received in the evening of Sunday 27 November 2022, and announced in a statement signed by the Secretary General of the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers).

By Stanislas Kambashi,SJ

“With sadness and pain we hereby inform you of the return to the heavenly Father of Cardinal Richard Baawobr which occurred today, Sunday, 27 November 2022. Our confrere was taken by ambulance from the Generalate to the Gemelli Hospital at 5.45pm and we received the sad news at 6.25pm. May Richard rest in the peace of his Lord whom he so generously served. On behalf of the bereaved Society. Our prayer and our thoughts go also to his family, to his diocese, his fellow bishops, to all his friends and acquaintances.“

The above statement was signed by Father André-Léon Simonart, Secretary General of the General Curia of the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers).

Created Cardinal in absentia

Richard Kuwiia Baawobr, Bishop of Wa, Ghana,  was created a cardinal on 27 August in absentia. He had arrived in Rome the day before, but was unable to attend the consistory due to illness. He was hospitalised and spent more than two months in hospital. Only a few days after leaving his hospital room, Cardinal Baawobr passed away on Sunday, while still in Rome.

Priest, missionary and cardinal

Born in 1959, Cardinal Baawobr joined the Society of Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) in 1981. As a religious, he took the missionary oath on 5 December 1986 at St Edward’s College, London, and was ordained a priest in Ghana on 18 July 1987.

He studied theology at the Missionary Institute in London, and then biblical exegesis. He obtained a Licentiate in Scripture and a Doctorate in Theology, specialising in Biblical Theology.

Successively he was then curate of a parish in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, formator from 1996 to 1999 of the Missionaries of Africa in Kanhangala, Tanzania, and then director of formation at the Chambre des missionnaires d’Afrique, in Toulouse, France.

He was the first African priest to be elected Superior General of the Society of Missionaries of Africa in 2010.

Bishop of Wa since 2016, Pope Francis named Richard Baawobr a cardinal on 29 May 2022 and elevated him to that rank on 27 August of the same year. On 30 July 2022, he was elected President of SECAM, the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar, during the 19th plenary assembly of this continental body held in Accra, Ghana.

College of Cardinals

Following the death of Cardinal Richard Kuuia Baawobr, the College of Cardinals consists of 225 cardinals, of whom 126 are electors and 99 are non-electors.

Source: Vatican News