The Vatican refused a request by the Archdiocese of Nairobi for an early start in the cause of Cardinal Maurice Michael Otunga.
The process would only start five years after his death, as required by Church law, said Archbishop Raphael Ndingi Mwana, announcing the Vatican’s decision. Cardinal Otunga died in Sept. 6, 2003, at the age of 80.
“We were advised to wait for five years, and we accepted the advice obediently,” Archbishop Ndingi told reporters yesterday at Holy Family Basilica after a memorial Mass for his predecessor. According to a CISA report, thousands of people attended the Mass.
He added that the beloved cardinal’s beatification would be on the agenda when the Kenyan bishops make their ad limina visit to the Vatican in November.
Cardinal Otunga had served as archbishop of Nairobi for 26 years. His remains are interred in a special chapel at the Resurrection Garden, a retreat centre in Nairobi.
The Vatican has waived the five-year rule recently, in the cases of Blessed Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II.