Peter Poreku Dery

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Styles of
Peter Dery
Coat of arms of Peter Poreku Dery.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Tamale (emeritus)

Peter Poreku Dery (10 May 1918 – 6 March 2008) was a Ghanaian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Tamale from 1974 to 1994, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 2006.

Biography[edit]

Peter Poreku was born in Ko, as the fourth of the ten children of Theodore Poreku and Agnes Zoore. Having been born shortly after the death of one of his brothers, his pagan family believed him to be the reincarnation of his brother and thus called Dery. He later converted to Catholicism, being baptized in Jirapa in 1933.

After attending the minor seminary in Navrongo, Dery studied philosophy and theology at St. Victor's Major Seminary in Wiagha. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Gérard Bertrand, MAfr, on 11 February 1951, and then furthered his studies. He earned a diploma in social studies from the St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia in 1958, and obtained his doctorate in theology after studying at the International Catechetical Institute "Lumen vitae" in Brussels, Belgium.

On 16 March 1960, Dery was appointed the first Bishop of Wa by Pope John XXIII. He received his episcopal consecration on the following 8 May from Pope John himself, with Bishops Napoléon-Alexandre Labrie, CIM, and Fulton J. Sheen serving as co-consecrators in St. Peter's Basilica. Dery, soon after his formal installation as Bishop, requested permission from the Holy See to translate the Ordinary of the Mass into Dagare and have it sung in local melodies, accompanied by local musical instruments; permission was given and Dery himself composed the first Dagare Mass. He also attended the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), and focused on the involvement of the laity, the education of the youth, and the promotion of vocations during his tenure.

Dery was later named Apostolic Administrator of Tamale, rising to become the fourth Bishop of Tamale on 18 November 1974. He was the first non-religious Ordinary of that diocese, as all his predecessors had belonged to the White Fathers. He was promoted to the rank of a metropolitan archbishop upon Tamale's elevation to an archdiocese on 30 May 1977. From 1982 to 1988, he served as president of the Ghanaian Catholic Bishops' Conference.

He resigned his post as Archbishop on 26 March 1994, after nineteen years of service, on reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75. Pope Benedict XVI created him Cardinal-Deacon of S. Elena fuori Porta Prenestina in the consistory of 26 March 2006; however, at the age of 87, he was not eligible to vote in any future papal conclaves.

Dery died in Tamale, 6 March 2008, at age 89.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
none
Bishop of Wa
1960–1974
Succeeded by
Gregory Ebolawola Kpiebaya
Preceded by
Gabriel Champagne, MAfr
Archbishop of Tamale
1974–1994
Succeeded by
Gregory Ebolawola Kpiebaya