The Auxiliary Bishop elected for Ahiara Catholic Diocese, Msgr. Simeon Okezuo Nwobi, will be consecrated on Tuesday, December 19.

The event will put on rest the controversies surrounding the seat since the loss of Bishop Victor Chikwe, the first bishop of the diocese.

Joy had erupted in the diocese following the news on Saturday, October 14, 2023, from the Holy See Press Office that an auxiliary bishop had been appointed by the Vatican for the diocese which rejected Cardinal Peter Okparaeke that was sent to them, holding that the appointment violated some portions of the Canon law.

The Vatican Bulletin had read: “The Holy Father has appointed the Reverend Fr. Simeon Okezuo Nwobi, C.M.F., as auxiliary bishop of the apostolic administrator sede vacante of the diocese of Ahiara, Nigeria, assigning him the titular see of Rusguniae.”

Reacting to the news, a priest of the diocese, Rev. Fr. Protase Ogechi Anyanwu, wrote: “With the Holy Father’s auspicious appointment of Msgr. Simeon Okezuo Nwobi, CMF, as Auxiliary Bishop, the Pontiff re-enacted a new springtime, the time to restore Ahiara diocese to her past glory.

Fr. Protase regretted that the crisis that rocked the diocese gave room to those who wished to make a living by tarnishing the corporate image of the diocese, nay, the Mbaise nation.

Rt. Rev. Msgr Theophilus Nwalo, the Vicar-General who had been part of the administration of the diocese in conjunction with Archbishop Lucius Ugorji of the Archdiocese of Owerri, received the Auxiliary bishop-elect, when he arrived his homeland to the warm embrace of the people.

Msgr. Nwalo said, “Ahiara diocese will rise again”, while addressing the priests at their retreat center at the diocesan priests’ home at Sacred Heart Parish Nguru Center on the same day.

While congratulating the new bishop, the Catholic Media Practitioners
Association of Nigeria (CAMPAN), Ahiara Diocese, led by Sir Ben Osuagwu, described the event as a landmark in the lives of all Catholic and Christian faithful in Mbaise nation.

“Your Lordship Bishop Okezuo Nwobi we know you as a man whose track record in the Claretian Community has remained unquantifiable and a great blessing to the people there. Your Lordship, we are happy that you have come home to lead the Lord’s Shepherds in Mbaise to gather the flocks together and build the Diocese from where the Pioneer Bishop the Most Rev Dr Victor Adibe Chikwe left it,” the CAMPAN leader stated.

He thanked Pope Francis for heeding the cries and screams of the people of Ahiara.


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