Prelate in Siberia Elected President of Bishops' Conference

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, FEB. 17, 2005 ( Bishop Joseph Werth of the Transfiguration Diocese of Novosibirsk was elected as the new president of Russian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, at its annual assembly last month.

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The newly elected prelate said the Catholic Church will do everything possible to collaborate with the Russian Orthodox Church in proclaiming the Gospel, according to the episcopal conference.

There are four Catholic dioceses in the Russian Federation. In his new post Bishop Werth, 52, succeeds Moscow’s Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz.

Bishop Werth is a friend of John Paul II. On one occasion, when the Pope met with young people during a visit to a parish in Rome, he proposed his missionary friend as an example, whom he appointed in 1991 as apostolic administrator of Catholics in Siberia.

In 2002 he became bishop of the newly established diocese at Novosibirsk.

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