By Staff writer
Archbishop of Catholic Archdiocese of Juba, Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla will be consecrated as Juba’s first Cardinal today in Rome, Vatican City.
Delegates including religious representatives, and government officials from South Sudan already arrived in Rome for the ordination.
Archbishop Ameyu is one of three African men of God among 21 catholic bishops who have been named to the rank of cardinal by the Holy Father, Pope Francis.
Two other African fathers are Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town in South Africa and Archbishop Protase Rugambwa, the former Secretary of the Dicastery for Evangelization.
Others are from the United States, Italy, Argentina, Switzerland, Spain, Colombia, Hong Kong, Poland, Malaysia, Tanzania, and Portugal.
Pope Francis in his message urged the congregation to put the 21 cardinals particularly the three nominates from Africa into daily devotions as they part take in helping him in the Catholic Ministry.
“Let us pray for the new cardinals, so that, confirming their adhesion to Christ, the merciful and faithful High Priest, they might help me in my ministry as Bishop of Rome for the good of the entire Holy People faithful to God,” Francis said.
Once ordained Today, Archbishop Ameyu will join the members of the College of Cardinals, two archbishops and one religious who have distinguished themselves for their service to the Church.
Pope Francis has since his election in 2013, created 121 cardinals from 66 countries at eight consistories.
Archbishop Ameyu was ordained as a priest of Torit Diocese in April 1991 and served in various capacities in the Catholic Church before his elevation to the bishop of Torit in March 2019.
After spending one year in office as Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Torit, Pope Francis, in March 2020, appointed Bishop Ameyu as the Metropolitan Archbishop of Juba.
After three years, the Shepherd of God, Archbishop Stephen Martin Ameyu Mulla has now been lifted to Cardinal of Juba.
Archbishop Ameyu pursued and obtained a doctorate in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Urban University in 1997.
The elevation of Archbishop Ameyu, to the rank of cardinal, is a recognition of his service to the Catholic Church and his leadership in South Sudan.
Eighteen of the 21 are under 80 and can enter an eventual secret conclave to choose the next Pope, in which capacity they will be known as cardinal electors.
After the September consistory, there will be 137 cardinal electors, about 73 percent of them chosen by Pope Francis.
Francis has also increased the possibility that the next pope will come from Asia or Africa, having consistently named cardinal electors from those continents and giving less importance than his predecessor to countries in Europe.
The other three new cardinals, who are above 80 years, will vote in a conclave.
All cardinals, regardless of age, are allowed to participate in pre-conclave meetings, known as General Congregations, giving them a say in the type of person they think the younger cardinals should choose.
Cardinals rank second only to the pope in the Church hierarchy and serve as his closest advisers.