African Church Gets New Leaders

GAGNOA, Ivory Coast, NOV. 24, 2008 ( Benedict XVI has made several episcopal appointments for the continent of Africa, just a few months before his March visit there and the upcoming special synod.

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Bishop Joseph Ake Yapo of Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast, was named the archbishop of Gagnoa.

Joseph Ake Yapo was born in Ivory Coast in 1951 and ordained a priest in 1978. He received episcopal ordination in 2001.

The Archdiocese of Gagnoa has 132,000 Catholics, served by 122 priests and 129 religious.

Bishop Paul Mandla Khumalo of Witbank, 61, succeeds Archbishop George Daniel, 75, as archbishop of Pretoria and military ordinary for South Africa.

Paul Mandla Khumalo was born in St. Wendelin, South Africa, in 1947, and ordained a priest in 1973. He had been leading the Diocese of Witbank, South Africa, since 2002.

The Archdiocese of Pretoria has some 193,000 Catholics, served by 113 priests, 11 permanent deacons and 302 religious.

Bishop Désiré Tsarahazana of Fenoarivo Atsinanana, Madagascar, was moved to the Diocese of Toamasina. There, he succeeds Bishop René Rakontondrabe, whose resignation the Pope accepted for reasons of age.

Toamasina has some 771,000 Catholics, served by 41 priests and 138 religious. The Diocese of Fenoarivo Atsinanana is now vacant.

Father Georges Varkey Puthiyakulangara was appointed coadjutor bishop of Port-Berge, Madagascar. There, he will serve with Bishop Armand Toasy.

Georges Varkey Puthiyakulangara was born in India in 1953 and ordained a priest in 1982.

The Diocese of Port-Berge has just over 16,000 Catholics, served by 16 priests and 47 religious.

Father José Luis Ponce de León, secretary general and procurator general of the Consolata Missionaries, was appointed apostolic vicar of Ingwavuma, South Africa.

He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1961 and ordained a priest in 1986.

Ingwayuma has some 24,000 Catholics served by seven priests and 14 religious.

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