Ivorian Cardinal Tells New Minister to Integrate Science and Faith, Seek God’s Blessings

Jean Pierre Cardinal Kutwa granting his blessings to Mariatou Koné who was recently appointed Minister for Education and Literacy in Ivory Coast. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Cardinal in Ivory Coast has called upon the country’s recently appointed Minister for Education and Literacy to integrate her scientific knowledge and faith and to seek out for “God’s blessings and graces.”

Mariatou Koné who was appointed Minister on April 6 paid a courtesy visit to Jean Pierre Cardinal Kutwa on Monday, June 7 to receive the Catholic Church leader’s blessings. 

“My warmest congratulations for the post she has been given. To do it, she certainly has her human qualities, but above all she needs the support of God,” Cardinal Kutwa has been quoted as saying following the June 7 meeting. 

He added in reference to the Minister Koné, “Science without faith ruins the soul. She should combine the two at the same time. She should ask for God’s blessings and graces to be able to exploit all that He has put in her.”

The Archbishop of Abidjan expressed confidence in the ability of the government official to do well in her service saying, “I am convinced of that. She will succeed. She has the capacity to do so. I believe she is at the rightful place.”


He described her as a professional teacher who did “a remarkable job” when she served as the country’s Ministry of Solidarity, Social Cohesion and the Fight against Poverty.

Cardinal Kutwa went on to laud the Minister’s plan for a General Assembly of teachers, saying the new cabinet member “arrived at the right time to do this work.”

He emphasized the importance of education in the West African nation saying it is “the country's backbone.”

“If schools train our people badly, we will have a country that is worth nothing,” he said, adding that education “offers many opportunities for our country.”

On her part, Ms. Koné expressed gratitude to the Cardinal for his prayers and encouragement.

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In April, Ivory Coast’s Prime Minister, Patrick Achi, paid a courtesy visit to the Cardinal to receive blessings.

“This audience that His Eminence Cardinal Kutwa has kindly granted us, at our request, responds, first of all, to an institutional principle that when a prime minister is appointed, he approaches the religious authorities to receive their blessings on his mission,” Prime Minister Achi said after the April 24 meeting.

The Ivorian Premier who was accompanied by three ministers said that meetings between himself and the Church leader “can take place on a regular basis.”

Mr. Achi also called for collaborative efforts to “maintain peace and lead the country, so that it brings daily well-being to the populations, comfort and peace.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.