The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
(1903-2011)
Z

zubeir7.jpg

ZUBEIR WAKO, Gabriel
(1941-

Birth. February 27, 1941, Mboro, diocese of Wau, Sudan (now South Sudan). From the tribe Belanda Bviri from the south of the country. Son of Placido Wako Tagia, who died in 1990, and Felicita Juno.

Education. Initial studies at the primary schools in Mboro in 1947); and at Nyamlel, diocese of Wau from 1948 to 1950; attended intermediate school from 1951 to 1955 at St. Anthony's Minor Seminary, in Bussere, Wau; studied philosophy from 1956 to 1959) at St. Paul's National Major Seminary, Tore River, Yei; studied theology from 1960 to 1963 at the same seminary; later, studied theology at the Pontifical Urbanian University, Rome, from 1968 to 1969; and at the Pontifical Lateran University, Rome, from 1969 to 1971, where he obtained a licentiate in pastoral theology in 1971. He speaks English, Italian and German.

Priesthood. Ordained, July 21, 1963, Wau, by Ireneus Wien Dud, titular bishop of Barcuso, apostolic vicar of Wau, Sudan (1). In 1963, he became vice-pastor in Kwajok; and at the same time, named inspector for the Christian Religious Education in the schools of the Gogrial District. Nine months after his priestly ordination, all the missionaries were expelled from Sudan and he became rector of the Minor Seminary of Wau. Further studies in Rome from 1968 until 1971. From 1972 to 1974, in the apostolic vicariate of Wau, he was procurator economous; vicar-delegate of Bishop Dud; and provincial commissary of the Scouts.

Episcopate. Elected bishop of Wau, December 12, 1974. Consecrated, April 6, 1975, metropolitan cathedral of St. Therese of the Infant Jesus, Juba, by Cardinal Agnelo Rossi, prefect of the S.C. for the Evangelization of Peoples, assisted by Ubaldo Calabresi, titular archbishop of Fondi, pro-nuncio in Sudan, and by Ireneus Wien Dud, archbishop of Juba. His episcopal motto is The truth will set you free. Attended the Fourth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 30 to October 29, 1977. President of the Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference from 1978 to 1990; from 1992 to 1999; and again, since 2012. Promoted to archbishop coadjutor of Khartoum, October 30, 1979. Attended the Fifth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 26 to October 25, 1980. Succeeded to the metropolitan see of Khartoum, October 10, 1981. Attended the Sixth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 29 to October 28, 1983. Member of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialog from 1985 to 1995; and consultor of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples from 1993 to 1998. Attended the Second Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, November 24 to December 8,1985. Attended the Seventh Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, October to 30, 1987. Attended the Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, April 10 to May 8, 1994. Attended the Ninth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, October 2 to 29, 1994.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of October 21, 2003; received the red biretta and the title of S. Atanasio a Via Tiburtina, October 21, 2003. Member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples; and of the Pontifical Councils Cor Unum; and for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. Participated in the conclave of April 18 to 19, 2005, which elected Pope Benedict XVI. Participated in the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, October 4 to 25, 2009, Vatican City, on the theme "The Church in Africa, at the Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace: You Are the Salt of the Earth; You Are the Light of the World". He narrowly escaped an assassination attempt during mass celebrating the feast day of Saint Daniel Comboni, on October 10, 2010, when a man identified as Hamdan Mohamed Abdurrahman rose during the Glory and rushed toward the prelate with a knife, but was stopped by the cardinal's master of ceremonies. The cardinal has frequently complained about the growth of Islamic fundamentalism in the country and criticized Arab groups for their anti-Black violence. Throughout more than two decades of conflict, the cardinal has been a constant voice of reason, calling for peace, mercy, and forgiveness in a land scarred by war. Nearly three million lost their lives as Sudan bounced from one war to another. Yet the cardinal's consistent message has been one of reconciliation. He is passionate about music, especially for liturgical celebrations. Participated in the conclave of March 12 to 13, 2013, which elected Pope Francis. He is the first Sudanese cardinal.

Link. Photograph and biography, in English, Sala Stampa della Santa Sede; photograph and biography, in Italian, Sala Stampa della Santa Sede; photograph and biography, in English, archdiocese of Khartoum; photograph and brief biographical data, in English, archdiocese of Khartoum; photographs and biography, in Italian, Santi e Beati; his photograph and episcopal motto, Araldica Vaticana.

(1) The apostolic vicariate of Wau was elevated to diocese on November 18, 1974 and Fr. Zubeir Wako would be named its first bishop.

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