Pope Francis Accepts Retirement of Bishop of Yei Diocese, South Sudan, Appoints Successor

Mons. Alex Lodiong Sakor Eyobo, appointed Bishop of South Sudan's Yei Diocese by Pope Francis on 11 February 2022. Credit: Catholic Radio Network

Pope Francis has accepted the retirement of Bishop Erkolano Lodu Tombe of the Catholic Diocese of Yei in South Sudan and appointed his successor.

In the latest administrative changes published Friday, February 11 by the Holy See Press Office, the Holy Father appointed Mons. Alex Lodiong Sakor Eyobo who has been serving as Formator, Teacher and Treasurer at St. Paul National Major Seminary in Juba as the successor of Bishop Lodu Tombe.

Mons. Lodiong is expected to succeed 78-year-old Bishop Lodu Tombe who has been at the helm of the South Sudanese Diocese since November 1986.

While announcing the appointment of the Bishop-elect at Christ the King Cathedral of Yei Diocese on Friday, February 11, the South Sudanese Bishop said he will continue overseeing the affairs of the Diocese until Mons. Lodiong, his successor, is ordained a Bishop.

Making reference to Canon law, Bishop Lodu Tombe said, “It will take three months for the new Bishop to be ordained.”


A native of the same Episcopal See he is expected to oversee, the Bishop-elect who turned 51 last month was ordained a Priest in June 2001 after completing his Philosophy and Theology studies at St. Paul National Major Seminary.

The alumnus of the Rome-based Pontifical Urbaniana University where he obtained his Licentiate in Biblical Theology has, since his Priestly ordination, served in various positions, including Parish Vicar of Sacred Heart, Lomin, Kajo Keji (2001-2002) and Secretary General of Yei Diocese (2002-2006).

Mons. Lodiong obtained a Diploma in Computer Science at the Kenya-based Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) in 2003). He also pursued studies in Financial Management and Administration at the Nairobi-based Christian Organization Research and Advisory Trust of Africa (CORAT Africa) from 2006-2007.

In his native Diocese of Yei, he has previously served as General Secretary, Diocesan Bursar, Coordinator of Communication and Education, Diocesan Youth Chaplain, and Rector of St Augustine's Diocesan Minor Seminary.

Once ordained a Bishop, Mons. Lodiong is expected to oversee Yei Diocese, which measures 46,000 km² with an estimated population of 231,950 Catholics, representing 49.1 percent of the population, according to 2020 statistics.

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The South Sudanese Diocese that is in the Ecclesiastical Province of Juba was established on 21 March 1986.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.