Church in Kenya seeking fast-track for Cardinal Otunga sainthood

CLICK HEREThe Catholic Church in Kenya plans to ask the Vatican to speed up the start of the process of canonisation for Cardinal Maurice Otunga, who died in 2003.

Catholic Information Service for Africa reports that the Pope's ambassador to Kenya, His Excellency Archbishop Alain Paul Lebeaupin, confirmed the plan to reporters in Nairobi, but said the process has not begun.

The nuncio was speaking on Tuesday, after presiding at a memorial mass to mark the second anniversary of the death of Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga, the former Archbishop of Nairobi.

"The rule is five years," said the nuncio. "[To start the process earlier], the Archdiocese of Nairobi needs a special authorization from the Holy Father."

Archbishop Lebeaupin concelebrated the memorial Mass with the retired Archbishop of Mombasa John Njenga, Bishop Joseph Mairura of Kisii and the auxiliary bishops of Nairobi David Kamau and Anthony Ireri.

The homily was delivered by Fr Dominic Wamugunda, Dean of students at the University of Nairobi. He described Cardinal Otunga as "an extremely holy man."

Bishop Mairura of Kisii said his diocese had requested the faithful to pray through Otunga and that they should report to him if any miracle happened through the Cardinal's intercession.

Cardinal Otunga died on 6 September, 2003 aged 81. His body was secretly exhumed and reburied last month, to avoid a confrontation with the cardinal's ethnic group, which blocked an earlier attempt to move his remains.

Catholic Church to Petition Vatican Over Cardinal Otunga (Catholic Information Service for Africa 7/9/05)
Kenya's saint candidate exhumed (BBC 23/8/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Cardinal Otunga (catholic-pages.com)
Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga (catholic-hierarchy.org)

Kenyan Cardinal Otunga Dies at age 80 (CathNews 8/9/03)

Remembering the humble 'Ambassador of God' (The Standard 3/9/05)
De Foucauld to Be Beatified in November (Catholic Information Service for Africa 7/9/05)
Kenyan Catholics seek early beatification of African cardinal (Ecumenical News International 7/9/05)
Beatification hopes for Kenyan cardinal (Independent Catholic News 7/9/05)
Cardinal Otunga Reburied in Secret (allAfrica.com/The Nation 25/8/05)

8 Sep 2005