John Onaiyekan

John Onaiyekan

Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria, was born on January 29, 1944 in Kabba, Nigeria. In 1963 he entered Sts. Peter and Paul Major Seminary in Bodija. Two years later he moved to Rome to complete his studies at the Pontifical Urban College of Propaganda Fide, and in 1969 he was ordained priest. He earned a license in Sacred Scripture and a doctorate in Biblical Theology. On September 10, 1982 John Paul II appointed him titular Bishop of Thunusuda and Auxiliary of the diocese of Ilorin. He received episcopal ordination on 6 January 1983. On October 20, 1984 he was named Bishop of Ilorin and, six years later on July 7, 1990, Coadjutor Bishop of Abuja, to which he succeeded as Bishop on September 28, 1992. On March 26, 1994, when the Pope established Abuja as a Metropolitan See, he became its first Archbishop. That same year he was elected Vice-President of the Bishops Conference of Nigeria, of which he was President from 1999 to 2006. Created and proclaimed cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of November 24, 2012.

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