The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI on Jan 6th the feast of the Epiphany ordained Msgr. Fortunatus Nwachukwu along with three other new Archbishops.
Archbishop Nwachukwu was born in Ntigha, Nigeria, in 1960 and ordained in 1984. After further studies in theology, he joined the Vatican diplomatic corps and has served in Ghana, Paraguay, Algeria, and UN offices in Geneva.
The Holy Father in his sermon told the congregation
How can we not think, in this context, of the task of a Bishop in our own time? The humility of faith, of sharing the faith of the Church of every age, will constantly be in conflict with the prevailing wisdom of those who cling to what seems certain. Anyone who lives and proclaims the faith of the Church is on many points out of step with the prevalent way of thinking, even in our own day. Today’s regnant agnosticism has its own dogmas and is extremely intolerant regarding anything that would question it and the criteria it employs. Therefore the courage to contradict the prevailing mindset is particularly urgent for a Bishop today. He must be courageous. And this courage or forcefulness does not consist in striking out or in acting aggressively, but rather in allowing oneself to be struck and to be steadfast before the principles of the prevalent way of thinking. The courage to stand firm in the truth is unavoidably demanded of those whom the Lord sends like sheep among wolves. “Those who fear the Lord will not be timid”, says the Book of Sirach (34:16). The fear of God frees us from the fear of men. It liberates.
Archbishop Nwachukwu who was formerly chief of protocol at the Secretariat of State has been appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Nicaragua. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy (Urban University, Rome), and completed a Doctorate in Sacred Scriptures at the Biblical Institute in Rome, before transferring to the Jesuit Faculty, Sankt Georgen, in Frankfurt, specializing in Old Testament textual criticism.
He obtained doctorate degrees in Systematic Theology and in Canon Law, respectively from the Pontifical Urban University and the University of St Thomas Aquinas in Rome. He was called into the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1994, after attending the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome. He served as Secretary at the Apostolic Nunciatures in Ghana, Togo and Benin, in Paraguay, in Algeria and Tunisia and as Counselor at the Permanent Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations at Geneva. In 2006 he became the Desk Officer for human rights and United Nations Organizations in the Vatican Secretariat of State. In 2007 he was appointed Head of Protocol of the Secretariat of State of His Holiness.
His publications include The Birth of Systematic Theology in Contemporary Black Africa, The Courage to Change: Take Off Your Shoes, as well as numerous articles and a number of reflections on theology in Africa, published both in L’Osservatore Romano and various periodicals. He speaks various languages including English, Italian, German, Modern Hebrew, French, Spanish and Arabic.
May the good Lord continue to guide and protect him, and may His graces continue to move him from strength to strength, to the glory of His name and the good of all mankind