VATICAN CITY, OCT 16, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Ciriaco Benavente Mateos of Coria-Caceres, Spain, as bishop of Albacete (area 14,926, population 379,448, Catholics 362,372, priests 180, permanent deacons 3, religious 365), Spain.
On Saturday, October 14, it was made public that the Holy Father:
- Erected the new diocese of Agboville (area 11,301, population 800,256, Catholics 400,000, priests 31, religious 14) Ivory Coast, with territory taken from the diocese of Yopougon, making it a suffragan of the archdiocese of Abidjan. He appointed Fr. Alexis Touably Youlo of the clergy of San Pedro-en-Cote d'Ivoire, pastor and vicar general, as first bishop of the new diocese.
- Appointed Archbishop Oswald Gracias of Agra, India, as archbishop of Bombay (area 10,103, population 19,249,203, Catholics 504,265, priests 561, religious 1,882), India.
- Appointed Fr. Gregor Maria Hanke O.S.B., abbot of the monastery of Plankstetten, Germany, as bishop of Eichstatt (area 6,025, population 890,000, Catholics 442,772, priests 376, permanent deacons 26, religious 753), Germany. The bishop-elect was born in Elbersroth, Germany, in 1954 and ordained a priest in 1983.
- Appointed Fr. John Ebebe Ayah of the clergy of the diocese of Ogoja, Nigeria, as bishop of the same diocese (area 12,557, population 1,500,000, Catholics 332,373, priests 67, religious 3). The bishop-elect was born in Buya, Nigeria in 1959 and ordained a priest in 1993.
- Gave his consent to the canonical election carried out by the Synod of Bishops of the Maronite Church, meeting in Bkerke, Lebanon, from June 4 to 10, 2006, of Chorbishop Samir Nassar, protosincellus (vicar general) of the archeparchy of Antelias, Lebanon, and pastor of Maret-Sader, as archbishop of Damascus of the Maronites (Catholics 12,000, priests 4), Syria. The bishop-elect was born in Antelias in 1950 and ordained a priest in 1980.
- Appointed Fr. Edgar Madi, pastor of Santa Teresa in Mansourieh and director of the "La Sagesse" School in the archeparchy of Beirut of the Maronites, Lebanon, as bishop of the eparchy of Nossa Senhora do Libano em Sao Paulo of the Maronites, (Catholics 468,000, priests 10, religious 5), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Beit-Mery, Lebanon, in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1983. He succeeds Bishop Joseph Mahfouz O.L.M., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same eparchy, the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with canon 210 para. 2 of the Code of Canon of the Eastern Churches.
- Appointed Bishop Vincenzo Pelvi, auxiliary of Naples, Italy, as military ordinary for Italy, elevating him to the dignity of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in Naples in 1948, he was ordained a priest in 1973 and consecrated a bishop in 2000.
- Appointed Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., as a member of the commission of cardinals overseeing the activities of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR).
- Appointed as members of the special councils of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops: Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, as a member of the Special Council for Asia; Archbishop John Atcherley Dew of Wellington, New Zealand, as a member of the Special Council for Oceania; Bishop Fernando Antonio Figueiredo O.F.M., of Santo Amaro, Brazil, as a member of the Special Council for America.
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