The Catholic Pontiff, Pope Benedict the 16th, has commended Governor Okorocha for his developmental strides in the state.
Speaking through the Prefect General of the Congregation of Evangelism, His Eminence Fernando Cardinal Filoni, the Pope described Imo state as the heart of Catholic evangelism in Nigeria.
Cardinal Filoni who represented the Pope at the centenary celebration of the Arch. Diocese of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province, expressed satisfaction over the tremendous transformation that has taken place in the state especially in the area of evangelism and human development.
He applauded the significance of the centenary celebration, pointing out that it was a seed sowed 100 years ago, at a particular point in Imo state that has grown into an Arch diocese.
Cardinal Filoni commended Governor Okorocha, for capital and human development in the state, saying that governors are those who must in the name of God, exercise their power for the good of the people.
He assured that the church must continue to support and pray for his government and the nation for justice and peaceful co-existence even as he thanked him for his hospitality and provisions of security.
The Bishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaikan also thanked cardinal Filoni for visiting Imo state for the centenary celebration, of the Catholic faithful in Owerri province.
He described his recent appointment as a cardinal as God’s continued calling upon his life, and a decision of the Pope as led by God.
In a vote of thanks, the state Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha expressed joy for hosting His Eminence Fernando Filoni which he described as a blessing to the state.
Governor Okorocha used the occasion to appeal to the Pope representative to call for a conference of political and religious leaders for effective development of the people and to address and to address global leadership challenges.
He pointed out that such step would go a long way towards achieving the desired leadership that will help the society.
The governor envisage a scenario where people’s culture should be a synergy with religion, pointing out his observation that people like worshipping God in their own tradition, culture, norms and values.
Governor Okorocha decried the spate of Western culture spillage in the country are called on the Pope to put a ban on pornography and nude clubs which are ravaging the society.
He noted that the Catholic Church was a worthy partner in the state, especially in the area of ensuring quality leadership, truth, and people’s welfare, and commended the Arch. Bishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province, Arch. Bishop Anthony Obinna for his outstanding contribution in this regard.
He recalled on the ongoing free and compulsory education in the state, pointing out that the state would want to extend the gesture to the churches but expressed worry and fear of abuse.