Catholic Bishops in Kenya are mourning the death of Rt. Rev. Cornelius Arap Korir that occurred on the night of 29th, October, 2017 in his house in Eldoret.
Confirming his sudden death in Eldoret Diocese, KCCB Chairman and the Bishop of Homabay Rt. Rev. Philip Anyolo said Bishop Korir was to be taken to Nairobi for further treatment on the 30th, October, 2017.
“He was supposed to travel to Karen Hospital in Nairobi this morning but when the Father who stays with him went to check on him, it was confirmed that he had passed on,” said Bishop Anyolo.
Addressing the press, Bishop Anyolo announced that Holy Mass will be held every day at the Eldoret Cathedral from 1.00pm for the repose of the soul of the late Bishop Korir until he is laid to rest.
Bishop Anyolo called on Kenyans to find some time to observe silence for a short moment to pray for the soul of the late bishop.
Meanwhile, relaying the information to KCCB staff members at Waumini House on 3oth, October, 2017, KCCB General Secretary Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Rono urged the staff to pray for the repose of the late bishop’s soul and for God to comfort the priests, the religious men and women and the Christians of the Diocese of Eldoret.
“As the community of the General Secretariat we will miss him, we mourn with the bishops. We pray for the priests, religious men and women and the faithful in the Diocese of Eldoret and also for his relatives and home diocese of Nakuru and Kericho,” Fr. Rono said
Till his death, Bishop Korir was the Chairman for KCCB- Catholic and Justice Commission and the Bishop of Eldoret.
Bishop Korir was famously known and respected for his role in peace-making and condemning social injustices and due to this the religious leaders from the interfaith communities under the umbrella of the Dialogue Reference Group (DRG) elected him to be the Chairman. The group comprises of top leadership from Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops-KCCB, National Council of Churches in Kenya-NCCK, Supreme Council of Kenya Muslim (SUPKEM) and National Muslim Leaders Forum (NAMLEF), Hindu Council of Kenya-HCK, Evangelical Alliance of Kenya-EAK, Organization African Instituted Churches-OAIC, Seventh Day Adventist-SDA and Shia Ithna-Asheri.
He chaired the DRG meetings and was in the forefront in advocating for engagements with institutions such as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), NCIC, the media and other electoral stakeholders in promoting peaceful, credible, free and fair 2017 elections.
In addition, Bishop Korir chaired the Multi-Sectoral Forum which is convened by members of the DRG, trade unions, women groups, persons with disability, civil society groups and other actors on matters concerning governance, elections management and the country’s preparedness for the 2017 elections and the solutions thereof. He used his capacity as the chair to offer spiritual and moral guidance amongst the inter religious leaders.
In his capacity as the chair of the DRG, Bishop Korir led the Nation in holding Inter faith prayers for peaceful, free, fair and credible 2017 elections in June 2017 at the Christian Student Leadership Centre, ufungamano House.
According to CJPC Programme Officer Angela Obadha who worked very closely with the late Bishop Korir, he was dedicated to the DRG and promoted peace not only in his diocese but also had Kenya’s best interest at heart, he advocated for peaceful elections and was constantly travelling to Nairobi to attend the meetings.
Obadha added that, Bishop Korir was a man loved and respected by all irrespective of religion, ethnic community, race and class. “This was clearly evident at the meetings where the interfaith leaders respected him and sought advice from him in matters affecting the Country and also in the work he did in his diocese with different communities. He was very humble and patient, he gave his time wholeheartedly to his work and the church, and he even risked his life just to serve his people and to honor his calling,” she said
The demise of Bishop Cornelius Korir who chaired both the DRG and MSF is a big blow and left has left a vacuum in the religious leaders’ engagements and the Country at large.
Bishop Korir was born on 6th, July, 1950. He was ordained priest in 1982 and was later appointed as Catholic Bishop of Eldoret Diocese on 2nd of April 1990. Bishop Korir was among Church leaders in North Rift region who have been warning political leaders against utterances that might divide Kenyans along tribal lines.