KENYA: Committee Gives an Update on Cardinal Otunga’s Journey to Sainthood

By Arnold Neliba

SEPTEMBER 8, 2023 (CISA)-“There has been a communication recently that came from the postulator in Rome, Dr. Waldery Hilgeman. It was sent to the petitioner and the office that conducts the process saying that the Positio now is ready and that it will be presented to the dicastery  in Rome for the discernment so that they may be able to vote for the Servant of God to be considered to be promoted to the next level,” said Rev Fr Prof Lawrence Njoroge Vice Postulator of course of Sainthood of the servant of God Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga.

While giving an update of the process during the 20th Anniversary of Cardinal Otunga, Fr Prof Njoroge said the Positio was developed from the official biography transmitted to Rome on April 26, 2021. It contains a comprehensive report that includes a detailed biography of the candidate, a thorough examination of their life, virtues, writings, and the evidence of their sanctity.

The document, to be voted on, serves as the basis for discussions and decisions regarding the candidate’s beatification and eventual canonization.

According to Archbishop Phillip Anyolo of Nairobi and the main celebrant of the Wednesday September 6 Mass that was concelebrated by Archbishop emeritus of Nairobi John Cardinal Njue and Rt Rev David Kamau Auxiliary of Nairobi, the canonization process of the Servant of God has reached a crucial phase which requires both spiritual and material support.

“Where it has reached, we shall need a lot of material support from each one of you. Not only us who are here but we are going to open it up to all Kenyans and all people of good will that we may do what God is calling us to do. This is for us, a call to holiness,” said the archbishop.

The Archbishop of Nairobi remembered Cardinal Otunga as a humble servant and someone who “struck the first in many things”, a defender the family and life of a priest and vocation life through is active contribution in Vatican II Council.

Cardinal Otunga’s cause for canonization started in 2009 when the then Archbishop of Nairobi, John Cardinal Njue, petitioned the Vatican-based Congregation for the Causes of Saints to approve the process. The request was granted, allowing Cardinal Otunga to be referred to as “Servant of God”.

In 2011 the diocesan phase was opened. In September 2013, the documents were sealed. They were incorporated into the ‘Acts of Inquiry’ and sent to Rome where the Roman Phase started.

Between October and December 2013, the acts of inquiry were evaluated by the dicastery.

On January 14, 2014, the decree of validity, validating the diocesan tribunal was issued. The diocesan tribunal collected material not only from the diocese but also where the Servant of God worked.

In 2014, the postulator began writing the document known as positio which is required for progress of the process. Following the presentation of the positio, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints will review and evaluate the Positio before making recommendations to the Pope.