Five Catholic priests in Issele-Uku Diocese of Delta State have been appointed as Papal Chamberlains (Monsignors) by Pope Francis (x).
A statement by the Diocesan Director of Communications, Rev. Fr. Charles Uganwa listed the clerics to include Right Rev. Monsignor John Aduba, Right Rev. Monsignor Michael Nwokolo, Right Rev. Monsignor Parker Ogboi, Right Rev. Monsignor Miletus Eze and Right Rev. Monsignor Augustine Ojei.
According to the director, the honour was given to them in recognition of their selfless contributions to the local church and their services to humanity all over Nigeria. He urged them to see the appointment as a call to do more in the development of Nigerian society.
Uganwa further explained “the title ‘Monsignor’ is bestowed on a priest who has distinguished himself by exceptional service to the church.
“It is a title granted by the Pope upon the recommendation of the priest’s diocesan bishop.
“It is a purely honorary title and has no effect on the priest’s duties or ministerial assignment, so a monsignor does not necessarily have any duties distinct from those of any other priest.
“However, some positions within the Vatican automatically carry the title of monsignor.
“When the bishop of a diocese believes that one of the priests under his authority should be honoured for his exceptional service to the church, he can nominate that priest for the title of monsignor.
“The Pope reviews the nomination and makes the final decision. If he decides to grant the title of monsignor to the nominee, the Secretariat of State of the Vatican honours the new monsignor with a formal diploma.
“And, because the title of monsignor historically designates a priest who served in the papal curia or Vatican bureaucracy, all Monsignori are officially part of the papal household, whether they serve in the Vatican or elsewhere.
“Unlike regular priests, they may wear some of the regalia normally reserved for a bishop.”
Issele-Uku which was created on July 5, 1973, by Pope Pius X1 from the territory of Benin Archdiocese has 94 parishes, 232 priests and nine Monsignori.
It presently covers six local government areas including Aniocha North, Aniocha South, Oshimili North, Oshimili South, Ika South and Ika North-East, of Delta State.
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