Gambella, 07 April, 2020 / 5:51 am (ACI Africa).
Following the demise of Bishop Angelo Moreschi of Ethiopia’s Gambella Vicariate, the first Catholic Prelate known to have died of COVID-19, an Apostolic Administrator has been appointed for the missionary ecclesiastical territory in the Western part of the country that is dependent upon the Vatican-based Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
The Apostolic Nuncio in Ethiopia, Archbishop Antoine Camilleri, announced the appointment of Fr. Tesfaye Petros Botachew as the Apostolic Administrator of Gambella Vicariate in his April 3 letter.
“By virtue of the special faculties given to it by the Holy Father Pope Francis, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples has appointed Reverend Father Tesfaye Petros Botachew Apostolic Administrator sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of the Apostolic Vicariate of Gambella,” Archbishop Camilleri wrote, pointing to the current status of Gambella as a pre-diocesan jurisdiction immediately dependent upon the Vatican.
In the letter, the Nuncio announced that Fr. Tesfaye will oversee the administration of the Vicariate “until such time as an Apostolic Vicar will be appointed” and assured the Ethiopian-born cleric “our fraternal support and our prayers in the accomplishment of his new task.”
Fr. Tesfaye has been serving as Vicar General under the late Bishop Moreschi since the latter’s appointment as Apostolic Vicar of Gambella in 2009.