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Friday, June 24, 2005


VATICAN CITY, JUN 24, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Erected the new diocese of Gulbarga (area 38,752, population 7,012,492, Catholics 6,425, priests 29, religious 111), India, with territory taken from the archdiocese of Hyderabad and from the dioceses of Bellary and Belgaum, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan church of Bangalore. He appointed Fr. Robert Miranda of the clergy of Mangalore, episcopal vicar of Bidar, as first bishop of the new diocese. The bishop-elect was born in Kirem, India, in 1952 and ordained a priest in 1978.

 - Appointed Fr. Fidelis Rakotonarivo S.J., spiritual director and bursar of the seminary of Fianarantosa, as bishop of Ambositra (area 24,000, population 695,651, Catholics 334,786, priests 71, religious 146), Madagascar. The bishop-elect was born in Ambohimahazo, Madagascar, in 1956 and ordained to the priesthood in 1992.

 - Appointed Msgr. Alfonso Cortes Contreras, rector of the Pontifical Mexican College in Rome, as auxiliary bishop of Monterrey (area 17,886, population 6,809,345, Catholics 5,146,211, priests 509, permanent deacons 25, religious 1,048), Mexico. The bishop-elect was born in Michoacan, Mexico, in 1947 and ordained a priest in 1972.

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