Chilean Cardinal Errazuriz Elected New President of CELAM

TUPARENDA, Paraguay MAY 16, 2003 ( Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz, archbishop of Santiago de Chile, was elected new president of the Latin American Episcopal Council during the council’s ordinary general assembly ending May 16, in Tuparenda, Paraguay.

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Archbishop Errazuriz, who is president of the Chilean Episcopal Conference, is replacing Colombian Bishop Jorge Jimenez Carvajal of Zipaquira in the post.

In addition, a press statement issued on May 15 reported that Bishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Texcoco, Mexico, is now the council’s first vice president, and Archbishop Gerardo Lyrio Rocha of Vitoria Da Conquista, Brazil, is the second vice president.

From Tuesday to Friday of last week, the CELAM meeting has gathered 9 cardinals, 16 archbishops, and over 40 bishops, to analyze the revision of a «New CELAM Global Plan for the Period 2003-2007.»

The Latin American Episcopal Council is an organization of the Catholic Church, founded in 1955 by Pope Pius XII at the request of the bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean.

CELAM offers services of contact, communion, formation, research, and reflection to the 22 Episcopal Conferences, located in the area extending from Mexico to Cape Horn, including the Caribbean and the Antilles.

Members of the council’s executive are elected every four years by an ordinary assembly which brings together the presidents of the Episcopal Conferences. CELAM’s headquarters are in the city of Bogota, Colombia.

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