Italy Will Not Allow Bishop Emeritus Silas Njiru Buried In Kenya
When Bishop Emeritus Silas Njiru succumbed to Covid-19 in Turin, Italy in April, the plan was to have his body flown back home for an elaborate internment in line with Catholic Church traditions.
As the first African bishop of Meru Diocese, the Catholic Church in Kenya–and more so the St Joseph Cathedral flock–were looking forward to viewing Bishop Njiru’s body before burial in a stone chamber beneath the floor of the church he had served since 1976.
The Catholic Church has a long-running tradition of burying their bishops in crypts below the cathedrals they served. But the coronavirus pandemic has turned this age-old ordinance on its head, so much that the flock may have to wait at least 15 years to witness Njiru’s internment.
According to church traditions, the cleric’s body was supposed to be flown back home and interred in one of the 12 crypts at St Joseph in Meru town.
But the diocese of Meru now says Italian authorities have ruled out bringing back Njiru’s remains in the short term. The earliest this could happen is 2035.