President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo has said the demise of His Eminence Richard Cardinal Kuuia Baawobr M.Afr had created a big vacuum in the country difficult to fill.
He said his impact on the social and spiritual lives of the people in Ghana, especially the Catholic community was immersed and cannot be measured.
“Our nation has lost one of the finest citizens, one who will be difficult to replace”, President Akuffo-Addo said in Wa on Thursday during the final funeral rites of the late Richard Cardinal Kuuia Baawobr, the then Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wa.
“The news of the death of Richard Cardinal Kuuia Baawobr brought considerable sadness not only to me and to the Catholic Church in Wa but also to all well-meaning Ghanaians”, he added.
President Akuffo-Addo said the news of the elevation of Cardinal Baawobr to a cardinal brought great joy not only to the catholic community in Ghana and the people of the Upper West Region but also to the government and the nation at large.
He said to show solidarity for his elevation, the government sent a presidential delegation comprising high-ranking government officials to Rome to witness his investiture rights and to express Ghana’s appreciation for his elevation.
“The death of the cardinal is a matter of deep regret to me, it is a matter of deep regret for our country, and it is a matter of deep regret for the church”, he said.
The President expressed condolence to the church of Wa, the universal catholic church, and all the people of Wa who had suffered a great loss due to the departure of the “faithful servant.”
Most Reverend Henryk MieczylawJagodzinski, Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, prayed that God may grant Richard Cardinal Baawobr eternal repose.
He said: “Cardinal Richard fell asleep in the Lord after a life spent entirely for the church … with the meekness and serenity of the saints.”
He eulogized the late Cardinal as someone whose “figure has had great importance in the life of the church in Ghana, in Africa, and the universal church.”
He said under the guidance of the late Cardinal Baawobr , the Diocese of Wa carried out an intense work articulated on evangelization in the sacrament, evangelization in human promotion, and evangelization in ministries
“The death of our brother in Christ saddens us, but it is also an encouragement of all of us to continue with humility and simplicity in faithful service to the gospel…
Let us ask the Virgin Mary and all the Angels and Saints to accompany him to the divinity encounter with the Lord”, he said.
Cardinal Baawobr died on Sunday, November 27, 2022, in Rome after he was made a Cardinal by the Holy Father, Pope Francis on August 27, 2022.
Cabinet ministers, Council of State Members, Members of Parliament, the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Minister of the Interior, and Regional Ministers among others accompanied President Akuffo-Addo to the funeral.
Also present at the funeral were representatives from the Missionaries of Africa (M.Afr.), the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference and priests from other countries, the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs, and the Muslim community in Wa among others to pay their last respect to the late Cardinal Baawobr.
The cardinal’s funeral was characterised by solemnness amidst the liturgies, and the Homily by the Very Reverend Farther Stanley Lubungo, Superior General of the M.Afr.
The funeral had been described as one of the best organised and well patronised, which drew mourners from across the country, especially the five northern regions.
President Akuffu-Addo donated an amount of GHȻ100,000.00 to support the funeral rites of the late Cardinal while the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament donated GHȻ50,000.00 on behalf of the Speaker of Parliament.