Catholic Cardinal Anthony Okogie Retires, Bishop Martins Appointed Archbishop Of Lagos

Cardinal Anthony Okogie

New Archbishop Martins


A new Archbishop has been named for the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos. He is the former bishop of the Diocese of Abeokuta, Alfred Adewale-Martins.

Adewale-Martins is taking over from Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, who is retiring.

The elevation of Rev. Bishop Adewale-Martins was announced by Pope Benedict (XVI) in Rome yesterday.

A statement by the Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria (CBN) said: “His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has today, Friday 25th May, 2012, appointed as Archbishop of Lagos, His Lordship, Most Rev Alfred Adewale Martins. He replaces His Eminence, Anthony Cardinal Okogie who retired, having attained the canonical age of 75. Until his appointment, Bishop Alfred Martins was the Bishop of Abeokuta Diocese.

“At the same time, the Pope appointed His Eminence Anthony Cardinal Okogie as the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Lagos until the installation of the newly appointed Archbishop.”

Bishop Adewale-Martins was born in Abeokuta on January 1, 1959. He was ordained Priest in September 1983. In October 1997, he was appointed Bishop of Abeokuta and was ordained on January 24, 1998.

The date for the installation of the Archbishop is yet to be announced.

Anthony Olubunmi Okogie (born 16 June 1936) is a Nigerian Cardinal Priest and formerly Archbishop of Lagos in the Roman Catholic Church.

Cardinal Okogie on the other hand was born in Lagos to a royal family of Uromi in Edo State on June 16, 1936. He holds a licentiate in sacred theology and had planned to study in Rome but was called to Nigeria where he was a pastoral assistant at the Holy Cross Cathedral. He was drafted into the Nigerian Army and served there as a chaplain. After another period of service at Holy Cross Cathedral, he was an instructor at King’s College.

In 1971, he was ordained titular Bishop of Mascula and Auxiliary of Oyo and was named an Archbishop in 1973. As Archbishop, Okogie was the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, and from 1994 to 2000, headed the Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria.

He was proclaimed Cardinal by Pope John Paul II in the consistory of 21 October 2003, and holds the title of Cardinal Priest of Santa Maria del Monte Carmelo a Mostacciano (or in English, Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel of Mostacciano). During his cardinalate, Okogie was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI.


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