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Updated: May 13, 2001 05:00 PM GMT
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Pope John Paul II has appointed Father Lawrence Saldanha, former executive secretary of the Pakistan bishops´ Commission for Social Communications, as archbishop of Lahore.

Archbishop-designate Saldanha, 65, was serving as associate pastor of Precious Blood Church in Toronto, Canada, when he was named May 12 to head Lahore archdiocese in northeastern Pakistan.

He succeeds Archbishop Armando Trindade, who died July 31, 2000, of heart failure in Lahore, about 300 kilometers southeast of Islamabad.

Before leaving for Canada, the archbishop-designate served 1986-98 as head of the social communications commission and WAVE studio, the Church´s national audiovisual center in Lahore. He also headed the UCA News bureau in Pakistan.

Archbishop-designate Saldanha served in many assignments in Pakistan after being ordained a priest in 1960. He also earned a doctorate in systematic theology from Rome-based Pontifical Urbaniana University.

He served in different parishes in Lahore and was secretary of Caritas Pakistan 1966-73. He was also rector of Christ the King Seminary in Karachi from 1974-1979 and taught dogmatic theology there until 1983.

Although he has served his priestly life in Pakistan, he was born June 12, 1936, in Mangalore, India, before the separation of Pakistan and India in 1947 with the end of British colonial rule.

Reacting to the appointment, a religious priest working in Lahore archdiocese told UCA News that the archbishop-designate brings with him much experience and wide knowledge.

Lahore archdiocese has 511,226 Catholics, 30 diocesan and 31 religious priests, and 214 nuns, according to the newly released 2001 Annuario Pontificio, the Vatican yearbook.


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