BLESSED PAUL VI/CARDINAL OTUNGA
On Sunday, October 19, Pope Francis beatified Pope Paul VI as he officially closed the two week Synod on the family (October 5-19),held in Rome.
The beatification has such a bearing to Kenya and Africa in general due to several pastoral activities that took place during his pontificate.
For the Catholic Church in Kenya, for example, it was the now Blessed Paul VI who created Maurice Michael Otunga Cardinal in 1973.
The life of Cardinal Otunga is currently being studied with possible aims to beatify him.
The process-beatification on Otunga began in 2011, after John Cardinal Njue petitioned Rome for the commencement of the beatification process.
According to Brother Reginald Cruz, the vice postulator of the cardinal Otunga process, the Diocesan Phase of the process has already completed its work and that its report has already been submitted to Rome.
“This was completed late last year and the report is now being perused by Rome, with the intention of opening up the Second part of the process, otherwise referred to as the Roman Phase,” he has explained recently.
On the African continent level, it will be recalled that the now Blessed Paul VI in 1969 became the first catholic pontiff in modern times to make a pastoral visit to Africa.
In that year, 1969, he visited Kampala, Uganda, where among other activities, he consecrated 12 bishops, among them the now retired Kenyan archbishop of Nairobi, His Grace Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki.
It was also during his pastoral visit to Uganda that Pope Paul VI inaugurated the Catholic Church continental body of SECAM-Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar and where he made his famous statement to the effect that….Africans, be missionaries to yourselves.
Earlier on 1964, the Pope canonized the 22 Ugandan martyrs at Saint Peters Basilica, Rome.
Reported by Francs Njuguna