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Monday, July 16, 2012


Vatican City,  (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Keewatin-Le Pas, Canada, presented by Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie O.M.I., in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law, appointing Fr. William Stang O.M.I., vicar general, as apostolic administrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of the same archdiocese.

- Erected the new diocese of Udupi (area 3,500, population 1,445,240, Catholics 106,149, priests 86, religious 225) India, with territory taken from the diocese of Mangalore, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan church of Bangalore. He appointed Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo of Shimoga, India, as first bishop of the new diocese.

On Saturday 14 July it was made public that the Holy Father appointed Fr. Gregory Bittman, judicial vicar and chancellor of the archdiocese of Edmonton, Canada, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 81,151, population 1,589,080, Catholics 378,545, priests 175, permanent deacons 20, religious 362). The bishop-elect was born in Hamilton, Canada in 1961 and ordained a priest in 1996. He has worked in pastoral care in a number of parishes.

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