Metropolitan Archbishop of Abuja Archdiocese, His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan recently explained the reason for moving the site of the multi-billion naira Catholic Cathedral of the 12 Apostles project from its original location in the Central Business District, Abuja to the new site at the Papal Ground Kubwa, citing less constraints and larger size of land as motivating factors for the decision.
The Cardinal who spoke through the Chancellor of the Archdiocese, Rev Father Christopher Bologo said the original site of the project could not provide enough space to accommodate the various segments of the Cathedral project.
Addressing the Parishioners of the Cathedral of the 12 Apostles parish, central Business District Abuja, last Sunday, Fr. Bologo noted the disappointment Parishioners may have felt having been working towards the realization of the project for many years.
He explained that it was not an attempt to deny the Parish the deserved honour of playing host to the Cathedral, adding that good reasons gave way for better ones.
He observed that the Cardinal would have wished the Cathedral to remain where it was originally sited but noted that such a sentiment would have made designed (layout) plans quite difficult to implement given the obvious challenges.
The Chancellor conveyed Cardinal Onaiyekan’s appeal to the Parishioners of the 12 Apostles parish to accept the new development in good faith and as an act of God.
The Parish, he said now stands a good chance of building its own church.
Cardinal Onaiyekan disclosed that the Ground Breaking Ceremony of the Cathedral of the 12 Apostles Project will take place on the 28th of January, 2017 at St. John Paul II Papal Ground Kubwa, Abuja.
He urged all Parishioners to participate actively. The event he said is significant since it marks the beginning of real work on the Cathedral Project after many years of gestation.
In his response, Vice Chairman, Parish Pastoral Council, Mr. Lambert Oparah thanked the Archbishop for the timely explanation stressing that the Parishioners were almost getting frustrated over the news of the movement of the Cathedral project to the Papal Ground.
Mr. Oparah stated that the Parish supports the decision but needed explanation having been working hard for many years towards the realization of the project in the Parish.
He appealed to the Cardinal to consider allowing the Parish retain the name Twelve Apostles Church as a way of appreciating the pioneering effort of the Parish.