New Diocese Established in India

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 24, 2005 ( Benedict XVI established the new Diocese of Gulbarga in India, reported the Vatican press office.

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The diocese is composed of territory of the Archdiocese of Hyderabad and from the dioceses of Bellary and Belgaum, and will form part of the Archdiocese of Bangalore, the announcement said today.

The Holy Father appointed Father Robert Miranda, episcopal vicar of Bidar, as the first bishop of the new diocese.

The bishop-elect was born in Kirem, India, in 1952 and ordained a priest in 1978.

The new diocese has 6,425 Catholics in a population of 7 million. They are served in 16 parishes by 29 priests, 105 women religious, and six men religious (not priests).

The Mary Mother of Divine Grace Parish church of Gulbarga will become the cathedral church of the new diocese.

The establishment of a new diocese is seen by the Vatican as a symptom and stimulus for the growth of the Catholic Church in India, reported the press office.

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