Kenyan Cardinal’s Retirement Accepted in Latest Administrative Changes by Pope Francis

Pope Francis accepted the resignation of John Cardinal Njue as Archbishop of Nairobi Monday, January 4, 2021.

The retirement of John Cardinal Njue of Kenya’s Archdiocese of Nairobi has been accepted by the Holy Father who has also appointed Nairobi Auxiliary Bishop David Kamau as the Apostolic Administrator of the Metropolitan Archdiocese headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.

The 77-year-old Kenyan-born Cardinal had tendered his letter of resignation to Pope Francis upon attaining the 75-year-old mandatory retirement age for Catholic Prelates. He was elevated to Cardinal in November 2007 and installed in February 2008.

The news of the administrative changes in Kenya’s Nairobi Archdiocese was officially made public in Rome on Monday, January 4 at 2.00 p.m. Kenyan Time.

The Catholic Media Network in Kenya reported that the Holy Father’s acceptance letter of Cardinal Njue’s retirement and the appointment of Bishop Kamau was sent to the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) by the Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya, Archbishop Bert van Megen.

Born in 1944 in Kenya’s Embu Diocese, Cardinal Njue is the second Cardinal in the history of Kenya after the Servant of God Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga.


He became a Bishop of his native Diocese of Embu in September 1986. In March 2002, he was transferred to Kenya’s Archdiocese of Nyeri as a Coadjutor Archbishop.

He was appointed Archbishop of Nairobi in October 2007, succeeding the Late Archbishop Ndingi Mawana a’Nzeki who retired the same year.

Cardinal Njue served as the Chairman of the Seminary Episcopal Commission for Major Seminaries in Kenya from 1987 to 1991.

He became the Chairman of the Catholic Bishops in Kenya from 1997 to 2003 and also served as the Chairman for the Bishops’ Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, and Chairman of Development and Social Services, a department of the then Kenya Catholic Secretariat (KCS).

He also served as Apostolic Administrator of the Vicariate of Isiolo (2005 – 2006) following the death of Bishop Luigi Locati.

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Meanwhile, born in 1955, Bishop David Kamau was ordained a Priest of his native Archdiocese of Nairobi in 1982.

He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Nairobi in 1999 and assigned the Titular church of Oëa in Libya.

The newly appointed Apostolic Administrator of Nairobi Archdiocese was ordained a Bishop in March 2000.

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.