The Secretary General of the General Curia of the Missionaries of Africa, Fr. André-Léon Simonart, announced on Sunday the sudden death of Cardinal Richard Baawobr.
News of Cardinal Baawobr’s Passing
Father Sominart said in a statement that the Ghanian cardinal died at a hospital on Sunday, 5:45 in the evening.
Sominart disclosed they received news of the cardinal’s death less than an hour later.
“With sadness and pain we hereby inform you of the return to the heavenly Father of Cardinal Richard Baawobr which occurred today, Sunday, 27 November 2022. Our confrere was taken by ambulance from the Generalate to the Gemelli Hospital at 5.45pm and we received the sad news at 6.25pm. May Richard rest in the peace of his Lord whom he so generously served. On behalf of the bereaved Society. Our prayer and our thoughts go also to his family, to his diocese, his fellow bishops, to all his friends and acquaintances,” Vatican News quoted Father Sominart saying.
About Cardinal Baawobr
The Vatican News bared that Cardinal Baawobr was born in Ghana in 1959. He joined the White Fathers (Society of Missionaries of Africa) in 1981, had his missionary oath on Dec. 5, 1986, and entered the priesthood on July 18, 1987, in his native Ghana.
Cardinal Baawobr attended London’s Missionary Institute, where he studied theology. He also attended Rome’s Pontifical Biblical Institute, where he took up biblical exegesis. Baawobr also got his Licentiate in Scripture and his Doctorate in Theology, with a specialization in Biblical Theology.
Moreover, he became a parish priest in Kinshasha in the Democratic Republic of Congo and served as Missionaries of Africa’s formator for Kanhangala in Tanzania between 1996 and 1999. Cardinal Baawobr also became the formation director in Toulouse, France’s Chambre des missionnaires d’Afrique.
From Oct. 4-25, 201, the Union of Superiors General tapped him to attend the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family.
In 2010, cardinal Baawobr became the Superior General of the Society of Missionaries of Africa, the first priest of African descent to hold the position.
Pope Francis named Baawobr a cardinal on May 29, 2022, and elevated him to the cardinal rank, in absentia, on Aug. 27, 2022. Prior to this, Cardinal Baawobr became president of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) during SECAM’s plenary assembly in Ghana.
Vatican News revealed that Cardinal Baawobr was in Rome on the eve of his installation as cardinal but failed to show up because of his illness. The Ghanian cardinal had to be kept at a hospital for proper medical care and spent two months there. The news outlet said Baawobr died just a few days after being discharged from the hospital.
With Cardinal Baaowbr’s untimely passing, the Roman Catholic Church’s College of Cardinals now consists of 126 cardinal electors and 99 cardinal non-electors, or a total of 225 cardinals.