Michael Kpakala Francis
Michael Kpakala Francis (born 12 February 1936 in Kakata District, Liberia- died 19 May 2013) was the Archbishop Emeritus of Monrovia in Roman Catholic Church. Francis became a priest in 1963 and eventually became Archbishop of Monrovia in 1981, resigning for reasons of age in February 2011. He was the first priest and bishop to institute the Catholic Justice And Peace Council (J.P.C.) in Liberia. This council was organized to defend human rights and civil liberty in the war ravish country Liberia under the then President Mr. Charles Gankay Taylor who is currently in the Hague facing war crime charges committed in Sierra Leone. In 1996 after the famous April 6, fracas in Monrovia, the bishop decided to close all catholic school because he felt catholic institutions including the radio station (RADIO VERETAS) were always targeted and destroyed by fighters loyal to Mr. Charles Taylor. The bishop later on reconsider his decision in 1997 after a public outcry from especially catholic school students parents.
Francis was a recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award in 1999, given each year to an individual whose courageous activism is at the heart of the human rights movement and in the spirit of Robert F. Kennedy's vision and legacy.
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