Slovenian Is New Prefect of Congregation for Religious

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 11, 2004 ( John Paul II appointed Archbishop Franc Rodé of Ljubljana, Slovenia, as prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

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Archbishop Rodé is replacing Cardinal Eduardo Martínez Somalo, 76, who handed in his resignation to the Pope for reasons of age, the Vatican press office announced today.

The cardinal will continue to be chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church, who, among other things, announces a new pope to the public following a conclave.

Franc Rodé was born Sept. 23, 1934 in Ljubljana. In Communist times, he went abroad, to Austria and Argentina, countries where he started his studies in theology.

He carried out his priestly ministry in Paris, until his return to Slovenia in 1967, where he was superior of the Vincentians in Ljubljana. He also taught, among other things, applied apologetics, theology of non-Christian religions, and an introduction to modern atheism, at the Faculty of Theology.

In 1981 he was sent to work in the Roman Curia, where he was secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture. He was appointed archbishop of Ljubljana in 1997.

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