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India

Mother diocese of northern India gets new archbishop

Bishop Manjaly of Allahabad replaces retiring Archbishop D'Souza in Agra

UCA News reporter, New Delhi

UCA News reporter, New Delhi

Updated: November 13, 2020 06:48 AM GMT
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Mother diocese of northern India gets new archbishop

Bishop Raphy Manjaly of Allahabad has become the new archbishop of Agra. (Photo: UCA News)

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Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Albert D'Souza of Agra in India’s Uttar Pradesh state and transferred Bishop Raphy Manjaly of Allahabad to take his place.

Agra, the base of several Mughal emperors, is considered the mother diocese in northern India. Organized mission work began here when Portuguese missioners arrived in the court of Emperor Akbar in 1580.

The Archdiocese of Agra now covers 14 civil districts and two districts of neighboring Rajasthan. It is spread over an area of 49,162 square kilometers, including the Taj Mahal, a major tourist attraction in Agra.

Archbishop D'Souza has been heading the archdiocese since April 11, 2007. He also headed the commission for clergy and religious of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India.

Archbishop D'Souza was born on Aug. 4, 1945, in Mangalore Diocese in southern India and was ordained a priest on Dec. 8, 1974.

Bishop Manjaly was ordained a priest on May 11, 1983, and appointed bishop of Varanasi on April 30, 2007. On Oct. 17, 2013, Pope Francis appointed him as the bishop of Allahabad.

Agra became an archdiocese in 1886 when the Catholic Hierarchy of India was established.

The tomb of saintly Italian Father Mark Anthony Santucci, who was buried there in 1686, attracts non-Christians.

Besides Hindus, many Muslims live in the diocesan territory.

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