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Cardinal-designate, Richard Baawobr (centre); Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo (left) with Bishop Lucio Muandula (right) Cardinal-designate, Richard Baawobr (centre); Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo (left) with Bishop Lucio Muandula (right) 

Ghana's Cardinal-designate elected SECAM President.

Catholic Bishops of Africa meeting in Accra, Ghana, for their 19th Plenary Assembly Saturday, elected Ghanaian Cardinal-designate Bishop Richard Kuuia Baawobr as the new President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM).

Vatican News.

The Cardinal-designate is the current Bishop of Wa in Ghana. He takes over as SECAM President from Cardinal Philippe Ouedraogo of Burkina Faso, who has been at the organisation's helm since July 2019.

Also elected with Bishop Baawobr are two vice presidents, Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo Besungu of the Archdiocese of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Bishop Lucio Andrice Muandula of the Diocese of Xai-Xai, Mozambique. The three SECAM officials represent a careful balance of Africa's anglophone, francophone and lusophone countries.

Security and migration -good starting points

Following his election, the new SECAM president gave an interview to Vatican News. He said his election as SECAM President came as a total surprise.

"I was surprised that they elected me because this is my first time participating at a SECAM meeting. At the same time, I am grateful that they have elected me. I see it as trust that they are showing in me … for now, I cannot say these are my priorities. It is important that we first listen to the regional Episcopal Conferences, and it is good that our SECAM standing committee is comprised of regional conferences. I also find that the theme we discussed at this Plenary, Ownership of SECAM; Security and Migration in Africa and the Islandsis a good starting point.

Called to serve and to listen

On 29 May 2022, Pope Francis announced that at a consistory scheduled for 27 August, he would create new cardinals for the Church. Among those will be the Cardinal-designate, Bishop Baawobr. Asked by Vatican News what all these new appointments mean to him personally, Bishop Baawobr said the bottom line was that they are all a call to serve.

"What all this means for me as Cardinal-elect and President of SECAM, I think, is that both are a call to serve God through my brothers and sisters and by listening to them," said the Ghanaian prelate.

31 July 2022, 11:39