Bishop Jerome Feudjio presently in Rome for a course, and visits the Nigerian-born and meanwhile named “saintly teacher of teachers”, emeritus Prof. (Dr.Dr.) John Okoro Egbulefu. By Nchumbonga George Lekelefac, September 14, 2022
Bishop Jerome Feudjio, first African native bishop in the USA from Cameroon, 6th bishop of St Thomas, US Virgin Island headed to the Vatican City to take some classes and have an audience with Pope Francis as has been the tradition.
Our own Cameroonian-born Bishop Jerome Feudjio headed to Rome last Sunday as the 6th bishop of the diocese of St. Thomas. He is presently attending a Catholic educational institute for new bishops, which will include presentations on evangelization, communication, canon law and diocesan administration among other classes. The seminar is normally held every year, but this year will mark the first year they have been able to hold in person sessions since the start of the Pandemic in 2020.
Our own Cameroonisn-born Bishop Jerome Feudjio is part of a class of over 170 bishops who were ordained between 2019 and 2022.
Today, September 14, 2022, Bishop Feudjio had the honor to meet the erudite, ebullient and well known intrepid and outstanding Nigerian born, meanwhile named “saintly teacher of teachers”, emeritus professor, father founder of the Congregation of Christ the Emmanuel (CCE), intercessor of Africans in Rome, illustrious African dogmatic theologian and scholar, and the father of Technoscientific Theology Prof (Dr. Dr.) John Okoro Egbulefu at his warm and welcoming residence in Rome, where he has dedicated more than three decades in service of the Universal Church under three Pontiffs: Pope St. John Paul II, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis. The meeting was outstandingly admirable.
It is also important for me to mention that the Emeritus Prof. John Okoro Egbulefu has an intellectual connection with then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI.
Emeritus Prof. Egbulefu’s main teacher was Karl Rahner SJ since 1974 in the University of Innsbruck and the guide of his studies and his formation till 1977 when, he finished his Master’s in Theology with the thesis on Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Attacks on Karl Rahner’s Theology, And beyond being the Preacher of the Homily during Emeritus Prof. Dr. Dr. John Egbulefu’s First Holy Mass on 2/5/1976 after the priestly Ordination (1/5/1976). It was the same teacher of his – Karl Rahner – who sent him in September 1976 to the University of Muenster with a letter for the Dean of the Faculty of Catholic Theology in the University Muenster to do there his doctorate in Dogmatic Theology with his thesis on Karl Rahner’s doctrine on Grace as God’s self-communication to the human spirit to proper and perfect the innate dynamism on earth of the human spirit towards its beatific vision of God in heaven, under the moderation of Profs Peter Huenermanb, Herbert Vorgrimler and Frank Kamphaus.
Then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger came into his life through:
1) their intellectual friendship in Germany before Ratzinger transferred from Muenchen to Rome as the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith
2) Cardinal Ratzinger’s helping to shape the structure and content of his delicate post-doctoral thesis (Habilitationsschrift) in Dogmatic Theology (under the moderation of Profs. Wilhelm Breuning and Hans Jorissen) at the University of Bonn on the urgent Need for a new theological system with which to effect that renewal of Christian Theology for which the Magisterium had been repeatedly calling since the end of the Second Vatican Council, and 3) Ratzinger’s bringing him over to Rome from Germany to teach Dogmatic Theology at the Pontifical Urbanian University.
During his stay in Rome as professor, he was well known as the mouth-piece of the Africans who themselves most of the time needed someone of his caliber to defend and promote their cause, speak on their behalf during very difficult moments. I am one of those who enjoyed his protection and guidance during my ordeal in Rome. He is the father of the fatherless Africans in Rome and has distinguished himself as an intrepid and well known dogmatic theologian worldwide, not only in Rome. That is why it was impossible for Bishop Feudjio, first African native bishop in the US to visit Rome without meeting this illustrious figure.
In addition, as part of his time, our own Cameroonisn-born Bishop Jerome Feudjio will attend mass celebrated by Pope Francis and that will be followed by an audience with the Pope at the Vatican.
Our own Cameroonisn-born Bishop Jerome Feudjio said that he looks forward to meeting the Pope in person for the first time since his appointment and consecration as bishop along with learning with the other newly-ordained bishops and to see the inner workings of the Universal Church first hand.
We, the entire Africans worldwide wish to thank the Emeritus Professor John Egbulefu for warmly receiving and welcoming “our African ambassador bishop” in the USA and we wish him an exceedingly outstanding stay in Rome, the eternal city.
By Nchumbonga George Lekelefac, Doctorate Candidate, University of Münster and Founder/CEO of Nchumbonga Lekelefac Institute of Research, Documentation, Language and Culture, USA