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Catholic Bishops in Eastern Africa Congratulate SECAM President on Episcopal Anniversary

Phillippe Cardinal Ouédraogo of Burkina Faso's Ouagadougou Archdiocese. Credit: Courtesy photo

The leadership of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) has congratulated the President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) as he marks 25 years since he was ordained a Bishop.

In a letter shared with ACI Africa Friday, November 26, Catholic Bishops in AMECEA say the Jubilee celebration is a period of thanking God for His graces to the Archbishop of Burkina Faso’s Ouagadougou Archdiocese, Phillippe Cardinal Ouédraogo.

“On behalf of the Bishops in AMECEA, I take this opportunity to congratulate you, our brother and patron Cardinal Phillippe Ouedraogo, as you celebrate the silver Jubilee of your Episcopal ordination,” Catholic Church leaders in Eastern African say in the letter signed by AMECEA Chairman, Bishop Charles Kasonde. 

Bishop Kasonde adds, “Your Eminence, as you look back to the last 25 years in thanksgiving and gratitude to God, who called you to lead and shepherd his flock, you will agree with me that this Jubilee is also a moment of wonder considering the many challenging circumstances God has taken you through.” 

“This Jubilee will always remain special to you for being the first of its kind even during the other Jubilee years to come,” the Local Ordinary of Zambia’s Solwezi Diocese tells Cardinal Ouédraogo on behalf the Catholic Bishops in AMECEA.

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In the letter dated November 16, AMECEA leadership commends the President of SECAM for laboring tirelessly to uphold the Catholic faith.

“As AMECEA and Members of SECAM, we are aware of how ceaselessly and untiring you have labored to spread the gospel and to uphold our Catholic faith, beginning from the Diocese of Ouahigouya in 1996, and then your appointment as the Archbishop of Ouagadougou in 2009; and now beyond your country Burkina Faso as Cardinal since 2014 and President of our continental body SECAM since 2019,” Bishops in AMECEA say.

The silver jubilee celebration of the 76-year-old Cardinal has been scheduled to take place on Saturday, November 27 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of Ouagadougou Archdiocese.

After his elevation to the rank of a Cardinal in 2014, the Archbishop of Ouagadougou said, “None of Africa’s sees traditionally carry a cardinal’s title, so the pope wasn’t obliged to appoint me.”

“I think God's people in Burkina should see this as an act of grace, that the Lord has cast a favorable eye on our family church in choosing one of its sons as the Pope's immediate collaborator,” he said.

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In August 2021, the Burkinabe Cardinal cautioned the people of God in Africa against false policies on procreation and family life and attempts to link poverty to the number of people in the African continent.

 “It is true that the Church contributes to education for responsible parenthood; but let no one be mistaken: the path to development in our countries is not primarily conditioned by birth control,” the Local Ordinary of Burkina Faso’s Ouagadougou Archdiocese said in August.