African archbishop selected by Pope to lead charity operations

.- Pope Benedict XVI has appointed 65-year-old Archbishop Robert Sarah as the new president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum." He steps into the shoes of the now retired Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes in leading the Holy See's department for charity and relief.

Hand-picked from his place as secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Archbishop Sarah will bring nearly a decade of experience in the Vatican to the mission of "Cor Unum"

The objectives of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" are to provide assistance in the Pope's name for humanitarian relief or to promote projects and initiatives for integral human development. The council also encourages and coordinates the initiatives of Catholic organizations worldwide.

Archbishop Sarah was ordained in 1969 in Conakry, Guinea. After his ordination, he worked as the rector of a minor seminary and as a parish priest before his election to the archbishopric of Conakry at just 34 years old. At the time he was the youngest bishop in the world.

Almost exactly nine years ago, he was appointed as secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, where he worked under Cardinal Ivan Dias.

Today Pope Benedict accepted the resignation of President-emeritus Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes of Germany who reached the age limit of 75 last year. He had served as the head of “Cor Unum” for most of the last 15 years.

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