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Caritas Asia elects new president

Mongolia and Vietnam were also endorsed as full Asia members

Caritas leaders at the annual Caritas Asia meeting in Bangkok Caritas leaders at the annual Caritas Asia meeting in Bangkok
  • ucanews.com reporter, Bangkok
  • Thailand
  • March 9, 2011
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Caritas Asia elected Bishop Isao Kikuchi of Niigata as its new president today at its annual meeting in Bangkok.

The 52-year-old Japanese bishop will succeed Indian Bishop Yvon Ambrose of Tuticorin once his election is ratified by the Caritas Internationalis general assembly in Rome in May.

Caritas Asia coordinator Father Bonnie Mendes welcomed Bishop Kikuchi’s election. He described the bishop, who currently heads Caritas Japan, as a man of good character who has worked closely with Caritas agencies for 15 years, and on some important projects in Africa.

He said Bishop Kikuchi will focus on developing and building Caritas Asia’s capabilities, noting that the organization does not currently fund projects but concentrates on capacity building.

The 31 leaders of Caritas agencies from 19 Asian countries also expressed their wish at the March 8-9 meeting for Caritas Internationalis secretary general, Lesley-Ann Knight, to continue playing an active role within Caritas.

The Holy See recently blocked the Zimbabwe-born Briton from seeking a second term.

Bishop Ambrose says he has written a letter, dated today, to Caritas Internationalis president Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga confirming this.

Also at the meeting, Caritas Mongolia and Caritas Vietnam were endorsed as full members of the Caritas Asia network.

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