Vatican City, 3 December 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:
- accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Down and Connor, Ireland, presented by Bishop Anthony J. Farquhar, upon reaching the age limit.
- erected the new diocese of Guasdualito (area 35,184, population 200,000, priests 13, religious 9) in Venezuela, with territory taken from the dioceses of San Fernando de Apure and Barinas, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan metropolis of Merida.
- appointed Fr. Modesto Gonzalez Perez, S.B.D., as the first bishop of the new diocese of Guasdualito. The bishop-elect was born in 1959 in San Antonio de los Alpes, Venezuela, gave his religious vows in 1983 and was ordained a priest in 1986. He holds a licentiate in education from the Universidad Simon Rodriguez in Caracas and in pastoral theology from the Pontifical University of Salamanca, Spain. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish vicar, bursar, parish priest, provincial counsellor and local superior. He is currently director of the Don Bosco agricultural centre in Molinete, in the archdiocese of Maracaibo.