Togolese Archbishop Monseigneur Kpodzro, Passes Away in Sweden

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
3 Min Read

It is with great sadness to announce that Monseigneur Philippe Kpodzro, the former Archbishop of Lomé in Togo, passed away at the age of 93 in Sweden on January 9, 2024. Monseigneur Kpodzro was a prominent political dissenter who transitioned from a revered clergyman to a vocal critic of the Togolese government. The news of his passing was confirmed by the “Fraternity of Togolese Priests” during their session in Atakpamé.

Monseigneur Kpodzro, originally from Togo, had been in exile in Sweden in recent years. Known for his unwavering commitment to both spiritual and political causes, he served as the Archbishop of Lomé for around fifteen years. However, in his retirement in 2007, he shifted his focus to supporting the opposition, becoming a vocal critic of Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbé.

His final, unfulfilled mission was to unite the fragmented political opposition and strive for a change in leadership in Togo. His outspoken criticism of the government led to his self-imposed exile in Sweden after the 2020 presidential election.

Monseigneur Kpodzro played a pivotal role in the 1990s, contributing significantly to resolving the political crisis in Togo. He presided over the National Conference and later led the committee responsible for drafting the country’s constitution. These actions solidified his image as a wise and influential figure in Togo.

However, his attempts to rally the opposition around him since 2007 proved unsuccessful, marking a decline in his influence. In a symbolic move reflecting this wane in power, the Dynamique Monseigneur Kpodzro (DMK) changed its name to the Dynamique pour la majorité du peuple au Togo in April 2023.

Two months before his passing, Monseigneur Kpodzro, struggling in his Swedish exile, revealed financial difficulties, stating, “My enemies have achieved what they wanted; may God forgive them! As for me, I offer my life for the salvation of all of Togo.”

Monseigneur Kpodzro’s legacy is one of dual commitment – to both his spiritual calling and the pursuit of a more democratic Togo. His passing marks the end of an era, leaving behind a complex and impactful legacy in the intersection of religion and politics in the West African nation.


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