Lira bishop among Pope's last selection
By Steven Candia

New Vision, Uganda
Monday April 4, 2005.

WHILE on his deathbed, the Pope John Paul II, who passed away on
Saturday, appointed Fr. Giuseppe Franzelli as bishop of Lira diocese.

Franzelli was among 17 bishops and archbishops appointed worldwide.

Franzelli, a Comboni missionary priest, now leads the diocese, which
has about 980,600 people.

The diocese had been under Bishop Paul Kalanda as its apostolic
administrator, , since the resignation of Bishop Joseph Oyanga in
December 2003.

In his last appointments, the pontiff accepted the resignation of six
others and also appointed a bishop in Kenya and in the DR Congo in the
mass nominations and resignations that included bishops in Europe,
Asia, Latin America, the republics of the former Soviet Union and
the Pacific.

The nominations and resignations were made over the last few weeks
by the Holy Father but only made public on April 1, according to a
Vatican statement.

The appointments and resignations were widely seen as an indication
that the curtain was about to drop on the life of the 84-year-old
pontiff and bring to an end his 26-year-long papacy of the one
billion-member catholic church.

The appointment of Bishop Manuel Urena Pastor of Cartagena, Spain,
as metropolitan archbishop of Zaragoza, Spain and Archbishop Luigi
Pezzuto, apostolic nuncio in Tanzania, as apostolic nuncio in El
Salvador was an indication that the Pope wanted to clear unfinished
business.

Urena succeeds Archbishop Yanes Alvarez, whose resignation from the
pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Pope accepted, upon having
reached the age limit.

In the provisions he appointed Msgr. Giambattista Diquattro, counsellor
to the apostolic nunciature in Italy, as apostolic nuncio to Panama.

He appointed Bishop Nechan Karakeheyan, of Ispahan of the Armenians,
Iran, as Ordinary for Armenian Catholics of Eastern Europe.

Published on: Monday, 4th April, 2005