Tamale, Wa, Wiawso, Jasikan and Konongo-Mampong Archdiocese/Dioceses were in focus in that report.
A day after, Catholic Trends reported that the Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, Most Rev. Henryk Mieczysław Jagodziński was expected to be in the Catholic Diocese of Wiawso.
A letter we had seen indicated that the Nuncio was set to visit the Wiawso Diocese on the eve of Wednesday, January 25. He was expected to hold a meeting with all the Priests, Religious and a cross-section of the lay faithful in the Diocese on Thursday, January 26, 2023.
On January 26, the Nuncio announced the appointment of Very Rev Fr, Samuel Nkuah-Boateng (Now Monsignor) as the new Bishop of the Wiawso Diocese.
It is important to note that four of these predictions remain outstanding.
The report further noted that the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra is also likely to get an Auxiliary Bishop who would support with the pastoral care of the archdiocese due to the health condition of the Archbishop, Most Rev. John Bonaventure Kwofie, CSSp.
Why an Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Accra?
Between 2002-2004, Then Rev. Fr. Kwofie, CSSp. became the provincial superior for the Spiritan Order in West Africa.
From 2014 until 2019 he was the Bishop of Sekondi-Takoradi. On January 2, 2019, Pope Francis appointed him as Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra to replace Most. Rev. Charles G. Palmer-Buckle who had been appointed as the Metropolitan Archbishop of Cape Coast in 2018.
His Grace was installed as the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra on March 1, 2019, at the Cathedral Church of the Holy Spirit, Accra.
Archbishop John Bonaventure Kwofie, CSSp. was however reported sick somewhere in 2021. On Thursday, June 10, 2021, he was said to have safely arrived back home in Ghana after a medical check-up in India.
A communique to all Priests, Religious and Laity of the Archdiocese, signed by the Vicar General of the Archdiocese, Rev. Fr. John K. Louis, said the Archbishop was “refreshed and healthy”.
Since then, it was expected by many that Pope Francis will either get the Archbishop relieved of his duties on health grounds or give him assistance by way of appointing an Auxilary Bishop(s). Be that as it may, He has continued to Shepherd the Church in Accra dutifully for almost three years.
Another reason Catholic Trends is predicting an Auxiliary Bishop for Accra is the size of the Metropolitan See.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Accra covers the Greater Accra Region as well as some parts of the Volta Region, which includes Accra and its surrounding areas.
The archdiocese’s extreme communities include Weija, Osu, Tema, Battor, and Vume, as well as Pokuase and Dodowa.
Because of the Archdiocese’s size, new deaneries were formed from existing deaneries. The former Tema-Battor deanery is notable among the deaneries that were divided into new deaneries, namely the Tema Deanery, Battor-Ada Deanery, and Ashaiman Deanery.
In December 2021, The office of the Archbishop in consultation with the council of priests and some other key college of consultors deemed it prudent to divide one of the largest Deaneries in the Archdiocese, the Tema-Battor Deanery into three. The new establishments became the Tema Deanery, Battor-Ada Deanery and Ashaiman Deanery.
What does the Canon Law Say?
Can. 403 §1. states that “When the pastoral needs of a diocese suggest it, one or more auxiliary bishops are to be appointed at the request of the diocesan bishop. An Auxiliary Bishop does not possess the right of succession.”
Subsection §2. notes that “In more serious circumstances, even of a personal nature, an auxiliary bishop provided with special faculties can be given to a diocesan bishop.”
Accra’s First Auxilary Bishop
In 1933, Joseph Oliver Bowers became a Divine Word Missionary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1939. His work as a missionary in Ghana began in 1940 when he became Assistant Regional Superior. From 1950 until 1952, he studied canon law, earning a master’s degree at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
On November 27, 1952, he was named Auxiliary Bishop of Accra and appointed Diocesan Bishop of Accra on January 8, 1953.
Bishop Bowers is known in Ghana for building schools and churches in Akotue, Akruso, Korwhere, Kwaopeniase, Nsutapong, Osonson, and elsewhere throughout the Diocese of Accra. According to The Beacon International Catholic Magazine, which is published in Ghana, the Catholic population in the diocese tripled under his leadership.
During his tenure as bishop of Accra, he established St. Anne’s Vocational School, St. Martin de Porres Hospital, and Mount Mary Training College. He also co-founded the Handmaids of Divine Redeemer Congregation, a religious order of nuns in Ghana.
Who is an Auxilary Bishop?
An auxiliary bishop, or coadjutor bishop, is a bishop assigned to assist a diocesan bishop in a particular diocese. This assistance is often necessary when the diocesan bishop is incapable of managing the diocese due to age or ill health.
The role of the auxiliary bishop is to assist the diocesan bishop in all matters related to the clergy, religious, and laity. He may help the bishop in his pastoral duties such as visiting parishes and attending to the spiritual needs of the people of the diocese. He may also help in the administrative affairs of the diocese such as budgeting, preparing reports, and overseeing financial and legal matters.
The auxiliary bishop is also, in a sense, a “deputy” bishop who has the same authority as the diocesan bishop. He shares the same responsibility for the spiritual, liturgical, and administrative activities of the diocese and is therefore expected to cooperate with the diocesan bishop in all matters.
He may be given the authority to ordain priests and confirm candidates, though this is usually done with the approval of the diocesan bishop. When an Archdiocese gets an Auxiliary Bishop, it is a sign of growth and development.
With this prediction, It is expected that the next puzzle to solve will be “Who becomes the next Auxiliary Bishop for Accra?” Keep reading Catholic Trends.