Catholic Bishops in Africa Eulogize Cardinal Who Served “with dedication, generosity”

Late Richard Cardinal Baawobr of Wa Diocese in Ghana). Credit: ACI Africa

Members of the Symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) have paid glowing tribute to Richard Kuuia Cardinal Baawobr who passed on in Rome on November 27.

The 63-year-old late Cardinal, a member of  the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers), was the President of SECAM since July 30 when he was elected.

In a tribute on behalf of Catholic Bishops in Africa, Fridolin Besungu Cardinal Ambongo, who serves as the First Vice President of SECAM, says he learned with “great sorrow and sadness” the passing on of the Local Ordinary of Ghana’s Wa Diocese and eulogizes him as a dedicated and generous servant of God. 

“The Universal Church has, thus, lost one of her worthy sons and Pastors who served the Lord and his brothers and sisters with dedication and generosity,” Cardinal Ambongo says in the tribute shared with ACI Africa Tuesday, November 29.

The Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) expresses his “deepest condolences” to the Holy Father, “who has, thus, lost a precious collaborator.”


He further extends condolences to “all the Bishops of Africa and Madagascar; to the Bishops of Ghana; to the Clergy, Consecrated Persons and lay faithful of the Diocese of Wa; to his religious family, the Missionaries of Africa; to his biological family, and to all the people who knew him.”

In the one-page tribute, the Congolese member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (O.F.M., Cap) who serves as the President of the Justice, Peace and Development Commission of SECAM invites “all the faithful of the Church, Family of God in Africa and Madagascar, to pray for the eternal rest of this illustrious departed in the House of the Father.”

Cardinal Baawobr was among the 21 Pope Francis named on May 29, and among the 20 he created during the August 27 Consistory.

The Ghanaian-born Cardinal missed the August 27 Consistory due to a heart problem. On the day of the Consistory, he had been admitted at Santo Spirito Hospital in Rome. 

On October 7, Pope Francis appointed him to the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity.

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The Holy Father has eulogized the Cardinal who died days after he was discharged from hospital in Rome as a “faithful witness to the gospel”.

In a telegram message on November 29, Pope Francis said he learned “with sadness” of the death of the Local Ordinary Ghana’s Wa Diocese and joined the people of God in praying for the soul of “this wise and gentle pastor.”

The Holy Father extended his “heartfelt condolences” to Cardinal Baawobr’s family, Missionaries of Africa, and the Clergy, women and men Religious, and the Laity of the Ghanaian Catholic Diocese.

He acknowledged with appreciation “Cardinal Baawobr’s faithful witness to the gospel marked by generous service to the Church in Ghana, especially to those most in need.”

“I willingly join the faithful in praying that our merciful father may grant to this wise and gentle pastor the reward of his labors and welcome him into the light and peace of heaven,” Pope Francis said about the late Ghanaian Cardinal.


Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.