20 May 2013

Liberia: Archbishop Michael Francis Is Dead

Photo: FrontPage Africa
Bishop-Emeritus Arch-bishop Michael Kpakala Francis

Catholic Archbishop emeritus, His Grace Michael Kpakala Francis, is dead. He died at age 77 in Monrovia on Sunday following a protracted illness.

Archbishop Francis was hit by double stroke in 2004, which left him paralyzed and subsequently confined to wheelchair for nine years during which he also lost his speech.

He was an outspoken critic of societal ills, including injustice and bad governance. Renowned for his fiery sermons, the late former Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Monrovia bravely stood up against two brutal regimes of former presidents Samuel Doe and Charles Ghankay Taylor.

He was also an icon of moral guidance to societal conscience, particularly on human rights and respect for the rule of law. His death has left a major vacuum in the Catholic Church in Liberia.

Born on February 12, 1936 in Kakata, Margibi County, the late Archbishop Francis joined the priesthood in 1963 and subsequently became Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Monrovia in 1981.

Meanwhile, as a honor for the passing of Archbishop Francis, the education sector of the Catholic Secretariat in Liberia has announced two-day suspension of classes in Catholic schools across the country, beginning today, Monday, 20 May.

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