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Ivorian Prelate Heading Catholic Bishops’ Conference Appointed Archbishop

Bishop Ignace Bessi Dogbo appointed by Pope Francis as the Archbishop of Korhogo Archdiocese in Northern Ivory Coast.

The President of the Episcopal Conference of Ivory Coast (CECCI), Bishop Ignace Bessi Dogbo, has been appointed the Archbishop of Korhogo Archdiocese in Northern Ivory Coast.

Bishop Dogbo’s appointment and transfer was made public by the Apostolic Nuncio in Ivory Coast, Archbishop Paolo Borgia in a letter.

“His Holiness Pope Francis on this day, 03 January 2021, Solemnity of the Epiphany appointed as Archbishop of Korhogo, His Excellency Monsignor Ignace Bessi Dogbo until now Bishop of the Diocese of Katiola and Apostolic Administrator of Korhogo,” Archbishop Borgia says in his letter obtained by ACI Africa.

The Archbishop-elect who has been serving as the Apostolic Administrator of Korhogo since 2017 is expected to take over from Archbishop Marie-Daniel Dadiet whose resignation was accepted in October 2017.

The Archbishop emeritus resigned at the age of 65 due to health reasons.

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The 59-year-old Archbishop-elect was ordained a Priest of Ivory Coast’s Yopougon Diocese in August 1987.

The holder of licentiate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome was ordained a Bishop in July 2004.

He had previously served in various positions among them Parish Priest of Saint Andrew of Yopougon Diocese and Vicar General of the same Diocese.

The Archbishop-elect was elected President CECCI in May 2017 during the 107th Plenary Assembly of Catholic Bishops, held in Kodjoboué (Bonoua) in the Ivorian Diocese of Grand-Bassam.

As CECCI President, Bishop Dogbo has been an advocate of peace, dialogue, and reconciliation in Ivory Coast before, during, and after the October 31 presidential election.

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“I would like to take up this same message to ask all Ivorians to open their hearts to dialogue and concertation because the Ivory Coast has been a country of dialogue,” the Archbishop-elect said November 16, reiterating Pope Francis’ appeal for peace in the West African nation.

The Metropolitan See of Korhogo was erected as Apostolic Prefecture of Korhogo from the Apostolic Prefecture of Costa d'Avorio in 1911, before Pope Paul VI elevated it to Korhogo Diocese in October 1971.

It was elevated the See to the rank of an Archdiocese in December 1994 by Pope St. John Paul II.

The Archdiocese measures 13,643 square kilometers and has a 24.3 percent Catholic population according to 2017 statistics.

The Metropolitan See is under the patronage of St. John the Baptist and has two suffragan Dioceses: Katiola and Odienné.

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