Fides News Agency Director Ending 5-Year Term

Father Bernardo Cervellera, Missionary and Journalist, Stepping Aside

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 29, 2002 ( Having completed his five-year term as director of the Vatican missionary agency Fides, Father Bernardo Cervellera announced he is leaving the post.

This news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples has become an important tool for the press in gathering both general as well as religious information.

Under the direction of Father Cervellera, a priest of the Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions, the Web site was created, which receives more than 1 million «hits» a month. The agency also has daily services.

By Father Cervellera´s initiative, there are now translations of the service in Chinese, Arabic, Russian and Portuguese, in addition to the editions in Spanish, English, Italian, French and German.

A successor to Father Cervellera has not yet been announced. He has not received his next assignment yet.

The Italian priest is a top expert on the Church´s situation in China. During 1996, he worked with youths of the University of Beijing. For years he followed China´s evolution closely as a missionary and journalist in Hong Kong. From 1978 to 1989 he was editor in chief of Mondo e Missione, one of the most important missionary magazines.

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