Nigerian cardinal’s visit cut
A visit by a top Nigerian cardinal to back the upcoming Conference of Mayors in Hamilton has been cancelled.
Cardinal Francis Arinze was on his way to the airport in the US to fly to Bermuda, yesterday, when he was called home to help deal with violence by Islamic separatists in the north of the country.
Mayor of Hamilton Graeme Outerbridge said: “Events in northern Nigeria are spiralling out of control — we hope to reschedule the visit.”
Northern Nigeria has suffered months of violence from the militant Islamic group Boko Haram, who want to create an Islamic state.
Cardinal Arinze, 81, was tipped as a possible Pope before German Cardinal Josef Ratzinger was appointed in 2005 as Pope Benedict.
He served in his homeland before being called to the Vatican in 2002 and won awards for his work on interfaith relations.
He retired from his Vatican post as prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship in 2008 and has since been in much demand as a speaker.