Archbishops Theodore Adrien Sarr of Dakar (Senegal) and John Njue of Nairobi (Kenya) thanked Pope Benedict XVI for naming them to the college of cardinals, saying the appointment has caused much joy in their home countries, not only among Catholics but among the entire populace.
Archbishop Sarr, who is also president of the Bishops’ Conference of Senegal, Mauritania, Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Cabo Verde, said he received his appointment with humility as “a call, a duty to serve the Lord more and better.” He renewed his commitment to foster inter-religious dialogue in his country and said he hopes his appointment would “contribute to promoting Christian-Muslim dialogue in Senegal and abroad.”
Archbishop Njue said he was “shocked” to learn of the news and that he has accepted that he will “humbly and diligently serve the Church.” “I never expected all this, but I accept the call,” he added, saying his “move to Nairobi and elevation to the college of cardinals are difficult decisions but I accept them.”
The news of Archbishop Njue’s appointment was met with much joy in Kenya and received extensive media coverage. In a letter to the archbishop, President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya said: “My wife Lucy and I offer you our support with our prayer. May the Lord bless you at this moment in which you receive such an important task of offering spiritual guidance to the Catholic faithful.”