New Cardinal Richard Kuuia Baawobr from Ghana, Africa, who Missed the Consistory will Receive Surgery in Rome


Pope Francis, during the August consistory, asked everyone to pray for Ghanaian Cardinal Richard Kuuia Baawobr, the Bishop of Wa, Ghana, who fell ill upon his arrival in Italy and spent August 27th in hospital. He has led the Diocese of Wa, in northwest Ghana, since 2016. According to Vatican News Africa, the Cardinal is doing well and will be recognized as Cardinal despite missing the consistory ceremony at the Vatican. The 63-year-old is expected to receive heart surgery in Rome in the coming days. He will hopefully return to Africa near the end of September.
At the end of the 19th assembly of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), on July 30th, the plenary appointed the cardinal as a new leader who promised to make the Church of Africa more visible and known to the people. Members of SECAM elected Cardinal-elect Bishop Richard Kuuia Baawobr of Wa Diocese Ghana as Chairman of the Symposium taking over from Philippe Nakellentuba Cardinal Ou├ędraogo of Ouagadougou Archdiocese, Burkina Faso who has been at the helm of the Symposium since July 2019. The Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) was born out of the wish of African Bishops during the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) to establish a forum in which they could speak with one voice on matters pertaining to the Church in Africa. The establishment of SECAM is therefore the result of the Bishops’ resolve to build a continental structure in order to bring forth the African vision to the whole Church. The Headquarters / Secretariat of SECAM is in Accra, Ghana. There are three official languages of SECAM, namely, English, French and Portuguese.
Biography of Cardinal Baawobr:

Cardinal Richard Kuuia Baawobr, M. Afr., Bishop of Wa (Ghana), was born on 21 June 1959, in Tom-Zendagangn, diocese of Wa. He attended elementary school in the village, and continued his studies at Saint Francis Xavier minor seminary and Nandom Secondary School. He entered Saint Victor diocesan major seminary in Tamale in 1979, and after his studies in philosophy, in 1981 he entered the Society of Missionaries of Africa, where he continued his preparation for the priesthood. From 1981 to 1982 he carried out his novitiate in Fribourg, Switzerland. Then, from 1982 to 1987, he completed his theological studies at the Missionary Institute London (MIL).

On 5 December 1986 he took his religious vows at Saint Edward's College, London, and was ordained a priest on 18 July 1987.

After priestly ordination, he first served as parish vicar in Livulu, archdiocese of Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (1987-1991). From 1991 to 1996 he studied exegesis at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and Ignatian Spirituality at Le Chatelard in Lyon, France, where he was awarded a licentiate in Sacred Scripture and a doctorate in biblical theology. He then went on to serve as formator of the Missionaries of Africa in Kahangala, Tanzania (1996-1999); director of the formation house in Toulouse, France (1999-2004); first assistant general of the Missionaries of Africa (2004-2010); superior general of the Missionaries of Africa, the first African to hold this position (2010-2016), and vice Grand Chancellor of PISAI (Pontifical Institute of Arabic-Islamic Studies).

He was chosen by the Union of Superiors General to participate in the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family, 4-25 October 2015.

On 17 February 2016, the Holy Father Francis appointed him bishop of the diocese of Wa, Ghana, and on 4 July 2020, he was appointed member and consultor of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory of 27 August 2022, of the Title of S. Maria Immacolata di Lourdes a Boccea.

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