Gov. Peter Obi of Anambra State has said his government would seek further areas of cooperation with the Church in a partnership intended to make Anambra State a better place in terms of all indices of human development.
He said this yesterday after the thanksgiving mass in honour of Cardinal Francis Arinze on his 80th birthday celebration at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha.
Obi, who described Cardinal Arinze as a gift of God to humanity, and also called on younger priests to emulate his apostolic zeal, said that the State was happy over its collaboration with the Church in the area of education and healthcare delivery; buoyed by the success, the collaboration would be deepened and expanded.
Explaining further, the Governor said that since schools were returned to the Church, education system had continued to improve both in the look of the schools and their products. The same thing, he noted, was applicable to the missionary health institutions the State was supporting.
In his homily during the service, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, described Arinze’s 80th years on earth as dedicated to the service of humanity and God at different levels, locally and internationally. Describing the Catholic Church as "clear voice of authentic Christian tradition", he described Arinze as the "indefatigable bearer of that voice".
The highpoint of the celebration was the reading by the Catholic Bishop of Nnewi, Hilary Okeke, of the goodwill of Pope Benedict XIV, who thanked Cardinal Arinze for his dedicated service to God and the Church and prayed for the outpouring of God’s grace upon him as well as impacted his Apostolic Blessings on him.