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Swift change in Brazilian episcopate as Pope accepts resignation of three Cardinals

.- Pope John Paul II made a significant change in the Brazilian Episcopate by simultaneously accepting today the resignation of three Cardinals.

The Pope appointed replacements for Cardinal Aloisio Lorscheider, O.F.M., of Aparecida –where one of the world’s largest Marian shrines is located--Cardinal Serafim Fernandes de Araujo of Belo Horizonte, and Cardinal Jose Freire Falçao of Brasilia, Brazil’s capital city.

The Pope appointed Bishop Raymundo Damasceno Assis, Auxiliary of Brasilia and former Secretary General of the Brazilian Bishops’ Conference as the new head of Aparecida.  The archbishop-elect was born in Capela Nova, Brazil in 1937, and was ordained a priest in 1968.

Bishop Walmor Oliveira de Azevedo, Auxiliary of Sao Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, has been named Archbishop of Belo Horizonte. The archbishop-elect was born in 1954 and was ordained a priest in 1977.  He obtained a doctorate in Biblical Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and is head of the Commission of Doctrine in the Brazilian Bishops’ Conference.

Archbishop Joao Braz de Aviz of Maringa is the new Archbishop of Brasilia.  Born in April, 1947, Archbishop Aviz was ordained a priest in November 1971. He graduated in Dogmatic Theology at the Pontifical Lateran University and is a member of the Commission of Doctrine in the Brazilian Bishops’ Conference.

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