Cardinal Priest of San Giovanni Crisostomo a Monte Sacro Alto
Cardinal Bernard Agré, Archbishop of Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire), was born on 2 March 1926 in Monga (in the Archdiocese of Abidjan), to Jean Manda and Jeanne Yomin. He was baptized on 2 September 1932 at Memni, his home parish.
He completed his primary education in the Catholic Mission school at Memni from 1936 until 1941.
From 1941 to 1947, he undertook his secondary schooling at the Minor Seminary of Bingerville. He then began studies in philosophy at the Major Seminary of Bingerville (1947-1948). He then went on to complete his theological studies at the Major Seminary of Quidah in Dahomey (now Benin), from 1948 until 1953.
He was ordained a priest on 20 July 1953 at the Minor Seminary of Bingerville and was nominated Vicar at Dabou where he stayed from 1953 until 1956 and where he acted as school teacher and Rector of schools.
From 1956 to 1957, he was rector of the Minor Preseminary of Bingerville.
He went to Rome in 1957 and received his bachelor of theology specializing in canon law summa cum laude from the Pontifical Urban University in 1960.
He then returned to Côte d'Ivoire, where he fulfilled the important function of parish priest of Notre Dame di Treichville, and became Vicar General of the Diocese of Abidjan.
He was appointed Bishop of Man on 8 June 1968 by Pope Paul VI and was consecrated on 3 October 1968, with his installation on 8 October 1968. He continued in this role until March 1992 when he was nominated Bishop of the new diocese of Yamoussoukro, taking formal possession on 17 May 1992.
Two years later, on 14 January 1995, he was named Archbishop of Abidjan, taking possession on 26 February 1995.
He is the President of Côte d'Ivoire Episcopal Commission for Social and Pastoral Action .
On the international front, from 1972 until 1996, he was President of the Episcopal Commission for the Means of Social Communication for the West African Regional Episcopal Conference (CERAO). From 1985 until 1991, he was President of CERAO. In 1993, he was made President of the Pan-African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS), a post he held until 2000.
He is a member of the Committee for the Grand Jubilee of the Year 2000, the Pontifical Councils for Social Communications and Justice and Peace and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.