By Sunny A. Ijomah
Pope Francis has appointed Rev. Fr. Joseph Ogundipe of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo, as one of the six new consultors that will be advising him (Catholic Pontiff) on relations between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria.
Rev. Sr. Eunice Ikufisile, the Director of Social Communications in the Catholic Diocese of Oyo, stated this in a statement she e-mailed to our correspondent in Onitsha on Tuesday.
Rev. Sr. Ikufisile said that Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo received the message on March 9, 2020, from the Vatican City and conveyed the appointment to Rev. Fr. Ogundipe same day.
The statement said that Fr. Ogundipe would serve with the Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims at the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCDI) based at the Vatican.
The statement also quoted Bishop Badejo to have said that the appointment of Ogundipe as a consultor to the Commission for Relations with Muslims was for a period of five years.
“As you know, the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonuson the Roman Curia (1988) makes provision for this Commission within the ambit of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue,” he said.
The statement quoted the letter as saying: “The Commission meets once a year and the agenda provides for communications from individual Consultors on the situation of Islam and Christian-Muslim relations in their respective countries.
“The principal purpose of the Commission is to provide time for reflection on the church’s relations with Muslims.”
Bishop Badejo also congratulated Rev. Fr. Ogundipe for the commitment and initiative with which he had served Oyo Diocese, especially, in the field of interreligious relations.
He urged Rev. Fr. Ogundipe to do more to justify the confidence which Pope Francis had reposed in him that led to appointing him to the exalted position.
The statement also said that other priests from the diocese who were present when the Bishop announced the appointment rejoiced with Rev. Fr. Ogundipe.
They prayed that God would grant him wisdom and humility to give a good account of himself in the new position.
Our correspondent reports that Rev. Fr. Ogundipe had his priestly formation at St. Peter’s Spiritual Year Seminary in Eruku, Kwara and at the Seminary of All Saints, Ekpoma in Edo State.
He was ordained a priest in 2007 by Bishop Emeritus Julius Babatunde Adelakun of Oyo Diocese and has worked in several parishes in the Diocese.
The statement said that Rev. Fr. Ogundipe is currently the Chaplain of St. Thomas Moore Catholic Chaplaincy, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso.
The statement added that Rev. Fr. Ogundipe, would continue to serve as the Director of the Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Dialogue Commission for the Diocese of Oyo.