The Vatican has conferred the pallium, a symbol of unity with the pope, on the Archbishop of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Bamenda, His Grace Andrew Fuanya Nkea.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, presented the pallium on behalf of Pope Francis during a crowd-pulling Holy Mass held at the St. Joseph’s Metropolitan Cathedral Big Mankon Bamenda on January 31, 2021.
Archbishop Nkea, 56, was one of many metropolitan archbishops appointed by the Vatican on December 30, 2019.
It is a tradition that on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul celebrated on June 29, the pope gives the pallium to recently appointed archbishops personally. This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was sent via the apostolic nuncio to each country. However, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State imposed the pallium on the Archbishop of Bamenda.
The pallium, a white woolen circular band placed around the shoulders, is an ecclesiastical vestment in the Catholic Church originally worn just by the pope but which for many centuries has also been bestowed on archbishops and bishops with metropolitan jurisdiction as a symbol of their papal authority.
Since the 9th century, an archbishop cannot exercise his metropolitan jurisdiction until he has received the pallium from the pope. He can wear it only within his own province; only the pope can wear it anywhere.
Crowd-pulling Holy Mass
Despite a lockdown imposed by armed separatists, Catholic faithful among others turned out massively to attend the Holy Mass.
Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, Minister of State, Secretary-General at the Presidency of Cameroon represented the country’s Head of State, President Paul Biya.
The mass celebrated by Cardinal Pietro Parolin was attended by top government officials including Atanga Nji Paul (Minister of Territorial Administration), Felix Mbayu (Minister Delegate to the Minister of External Relations in charge of Cooperation with the Commonwealth), Mbah Acha Rose nee Fomundam ( Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Supreme State Audit), Fuh Calistus Gentry (Secretary of State to the Minister of Mines, Industries and Technological Development), Doh Jerome Penbaga (Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice in charge of Penitentiary Administration) and Paul Tasong (Minister Delegate at the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development in charge of Planning).
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