Nov 23, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —–– The President of Sudan and South Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Cardinal Wako, has officially retired as Archbishop of Khartoum.
Press reported that Cardinal Wako announced his resignation from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Khartoum during a church service at Saint Matthew’s Cathedral in Khartoum last night. Cardinal Wako, formerly the Bishop of Wau, became Archbishop of Khartoum on the 10th of October 1981. He served as the Archdiocese of Khartoum for thirty five-years.
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According to the Canon Law of the Catholic Church, a diocesan bishop retires from the administration of the diocese when he reaches the age of seventy five.
Cardinal Wako, who turned seventy five this year, declared his retirement yesterday during his last mass as Archbishop of Khartoum. “The time has come for me to officially retire. After this [mass] only when I have the desire to celebrate the mass with you, I would do it; but it is not going to be the program of life as before,” he told the congregation.
The new Archbishop of Khartoum is Michael Didi, the former bishop of El-Obeied. He will be installed as Archbishop on the 9th of December.
Speaking during the same occasion, Vatican Ambassador to Sudan and Eritrea, Archbishop Bert Van Megen, said the resignation of Cardinal Wako was a “sad moment” because he was a beloved church leader. “Your Eminence, you guided the Archdioceses for more than 35-years and so after thirty five years of hard work filled with grace, your work has matured – has come to perfection,” Van Megen praised Wako. “Your Eminence, let me take the occasion to thank you on behalf of the Holy Father[Pope Francis] and indeed on behalf of all the people present here for your untiring service through all these years.”
Cardinal Wako also relinquished the position of the President of Sudan and South Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference. He has been succeeded by the Bishop of Tambura-Yambio, Dr. Edwardo Hiiboro Kussalla.
Media also reported that citizens of South Sudan should not migrate to become refugees in the neighbouring countries, Vicar General of Wau Catholic Diocese quoted Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako.
Fr Germano Bernardo on Sunday explained that the Cardinal greatly regretted over the influx of South Sudanese to Sudan and other countries to suffer there. He said Cardinal Zubeir made the call during Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference meeting in Khartoum last month
Fr Bernardo advised citizens to be strong in faith and trust Lord Jesus Christ in order to find salvation. He told the congregation that Jesus Christ listens to his people and saves them from the temptation because he is always with them.
Fr Bernardo advised the believers to continue asking God’s mercy and be ambassadors of peace in the country. The Vicar General was preaching during the feast of Christ the King on Sunday at Saint Mary Cathedral in Wau.