Pope John Paul II appointed to Eastern European Archbishops to key roles in the Roman Curia.
The Pope accepted the resignation of Spanish Cardinal Eduardo Martinez Somalo as head of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and appointed as his replacement Archbishop Franc Rodé, of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Archbishop Rodé was born in Ljubljana on September 23, 1934 and was ordained a priest for the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians) on June 29, 1960. On March 5, 1997 he was appointed Archbishop of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and two years later, elected President of the Slovenian Bishops' Conference.
Archbishop Rodé has played a key role in both consolidating Slovenia's transition to democracy and defending the rights of Catholics to receive religious education in public schools.
The Holy Father also accepted the resignation of Belgian Cardinal Jan Pieter Schotte, C.I.C.M., as head of the General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops, and appointed Croatian Archbishop Nikola Eterovic', until now Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine.
Archbishop Eterovic' was born in Pucisca, Croatia, on January 20, 1951. He was ordained a priest after specializing in Missionology on June 26, 1977.
He entered the Holy See's Diplomatic service in March 1980 and has worked at the Vatican diplomatic representations in Ivory Coast, Spain, and Nicaragua. He was appointed Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine on May 22, 1999.
Archbishop Eterovic' speaks Italian, French, English, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian. His new position requires communication with bishops around the world.