The Pope established the Diocese of Ekwulobia, in south eastern Nigeria, and named Bishop Peter Ebere Okpaleke as its first Ordinary. Bishop Okpaleke is the Bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Ahiara. The new Diocese is formed from a part of the territory of the Diocese of Awka, and will be a suffragan See of the Metropolitan See of Onitsha.
USAfricaonline.com notes that Okpaleke’s appointment has come as a response to the long-drawn and nativist demand by the Ahiara/Mbaise staunch Catholic communities that they preferred to have one of their own sons instead of Bishop Okpaleke.
Pope Francis has also named new Bishops for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, USA, and the Diocese of Kinkala, Republic of Congo.
Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., currently serving as Bishop of Savannah, has been appointed as the new Metropolitan Archbishop of Atlanta, USA. He succeeds Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who was transferred last year to the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
In Kinkala, Father Ildevert Mathurin Mouanga has been named to succeed Bishop Louis Portella Mbuyu, whose resignation was accepted by Pope Francis. Father Mouanga, a priest of the Diocese of Kinkala, is currently the Rector of the Theological Interdiocesan Major Seminary “Emile Biayenda” in Brazzaville. Ref: Vatican News