Former Apostolic Nuncio in Benin, Togo Transferred, “not dismissed”: Bishops in Togo

Members of the Episcopal Conference of Togo (CET) with former Apostolic Nuncio to Benin and Togo, Archbishop Brian Udaigwe.

Catholic Bishops in Togo have sought to dismiss as “malicious comments” claims that Nigerian-born Archbishop Brian Udaigwe who has been serving as Apostolic Nuncio in Togo and Benin has been sacked.

In their Wednesday, June 17 collective statement, members of the Episcopal Conference of Togo (CET) clarify that the Vatican diplomat has been transferred “after seven years of service” in the two West African nations.

“Since June 13, 2020, the date of the announcement of the appointment of the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Brian Udaigwe to the Nunciature in Sri Lanka, various malicious comments and ill-informed sources have been circulating on social networks about his person and his mission here in Togo,” the members of CET write.

They clarify, “Archbishop Brian Udaigwe has not been dismissed from the diplomatic service, but simply appointed to another Nunciature, the average term of office of a Nuncio being generally 6 years.”

“In reality, he has been appointed to a new position by Pope Francis, after seven years of service in Benin and Togo,” the Bishops note in their collective statement.

They condemn “these kinds of unfounded rumors” about the person of the Nigerian-born Prelate, saying the claims “seriously distort the truth and harm individuals, society and our country.”

On Saturday, June 13, Pope Francis announced the transfer of Archbishop Brian Udaigwe who has been representing him in Benin and in Togo to Sri Lanka.

A native of Orlu Diocese in Nigeria, the 55-year-old Prelate was ordained a Priest in May 1992 and joined the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1994.

He holds a Doctorate in Canon Law and has been an Apostolic Nuncio since February 2013 after having served in different Apostolic Nunciatures including Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom.

“In thanking the Apostolic Nuncio for the diplomatic and ecclesial service rendered in Benin and Togo, we pray for his new mission in Sri Lanka,” the Bishops in Togo say.

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