Thousands of Catholic believers have this morning been locked out of the ordination and installation ceremony of Monsignor, Fr Willybard Lagho as the third Bishop of Malindi.
This after the Church abruptly changed the venue from Bishop Francis Baldacchino Primary School Grounds to St Anthony’s Cathedral Malindi last Wednesday, and also limiting the number of attendant to 600.
Fr Albert Burjis, the Malindi Catholic diocese administrator said they resolve to change the venue in order to limit the number of attendants to 600 in order to observe the Covid-19 rules and regulations.
“The Deputy County Commissioner Thuo Ngugi together with health officers met the organizing Committee for the Episcopal Ordination and Installation and agreed the need to observe the Covid-19 regulations during the ceremony,” he told the Nation on phone adding “We opted to change the venue to ensure the regulations are followed to the later.”
Last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta extended a nationwide overnight Covid-19 curfew for 60 days, prohibited political and large social gatherings and limited religious gatherings to one third of venue capacity to battle a third wave of infections.
However, the church shall broadcast the ceremony live through one of their religious television station to enable believers follow the ceremony at the comfort of the homes.
Mr Kennedy Otieno, the St Anthony Cathedral chairman said faithful had waited for a bishop for three years after the death of Bishop Emanuel Barbara in January 2018.
“We are anxiously waiting for the episcopal ordination and installation of the bishop to enable him begin his apostolate of serving the people of Catholic Diocese of Malindi,” he added.
Last December, Pope Francis appointed Very Rev Fr Lagho, as Bishop of Malindi Diocese after serving as Mombasa Catholic Archdiocese Vicar General for 12 years.
Fr Lagho now becomes third and the first African catholic bishop of Malindi after the late Bishop Barbara and his counterpart Francis Baldacchino, who died on October 9, 2009.
The Bishop-elect is a former consultor in the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue (Rome) Italy.
He was ordained Deacon on, December 21, 1985 and ordained a Priest on, April 25, 1987 in Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa.