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Monday, March 17, 2014


Vatican City, 15 March 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father:

- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Sincelejo, Colombia, presented by Bishop Nel Hedye Beltran Santamaria, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- appointed Bishop Romulo T. de la Cruz of Kidapawan as metropolitan archbishop of Zamboanga (area 1,683, population 764,000, Catholics 597,865, priests 76, religious 105), Philippines.

- appointed Rev. Jose Manuel Garita Herrera as bishop of Ciudad Quesada (area 9,838, population 297615, Catholics 223,257, priests 42, religious 35), Costa Rica. The bishop-elect was born in Heredia, Costa Rica in 1965 and was ordained a priest in 1988. He holds a licentiate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral, administrative and academic roles in the archdiocese of San Jose de Costa Rica, including vicar of the parish of “Nuestra Senora del Carmen”; auditor, defender of the bond and judicial vicar of the ecclesiastical tribunal; professor of sacred scriptures at the Autonomous University of Central America; archdiocesan vice-chancellor and chancellor, archdiocesan bursar and head of personnel of the Curia, professor of canon law at the Catholic University, the Theological Institute of Central America and in the national major seminary, rector of the “Santuario Nacional Templo Votivo al Sagrado Corazon de Jesus”, vicar forane, formator and spiritual director. He is currently rector of the national major seminary “Nuestra Senora de los Angeles”.

- appointed Fr. Robert Byrne as bishop of Birmingham (area 9,936, population 5,455,000, Catholics 286,700, priests 354, permanent deacons 81, religious 700), England. The bishop-elect was born in Urmston, England in 1956 and was ordained a priest in 1985. He completed his studies as King's College, University of London, and the Birmingham Oratory. He founded a new Oratory in the parish of St. Aloysius, Oxford in 1993. He has served as provost of the Oratory, chaplain of the prisons of Oxford and Bullingdon, and governor of the Oratory School. He is currently president of the Permanent Deputation of the International Confederation of the Oratory and secretary of the Department for Dialogue and Unity of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.

- appointed Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, as his special envoy to the consecration of the recently restored shrine to St. Augustine d'Ippona at Annaba, Algeria, to take place on 2 May 2014, the centenary of its elevation to a Basilica.

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