Vatican City, 23 December 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
- Msgr. Pierantonio Pavanello as bishop of Adria-Rovigo (area 1,193, population 204,400, Catholics 198,000, priests 155, permanent deacons 5, religious 207), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Bassano del Grappa, Italy in 1955 and was ordained a priest in 1982. He holds a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University and has served in a number of roles in the diocese of Vicenza, including parish vicar, secretary of the presbyteral council and diocesan pastoral council. He is currently episcopal chancellor, adjunct judicial vicar of the Triveneto Regional Ecclesiastic Tribunal, and lecturer in canon law at the diocesan seminary. In 2005 he was named Chaplain of His Holiness. He succeeds Bishop Lucio Soravito De Franceschi, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- appointed Fr. Francois Touvet as bishop of Chalons (area 6,501, population 265,000, Catholics 258,500, priests 76, permanent deacons 17, religious 76), France. The bishop-elect was born in Paris, France in 1965 and was ordained a priest in 1992. He holds a licentiate in theology from the Institut Catholique de Lyon, and has served in a number of roles in the dioceses of Dijon - including pastoral vicar, parish priest, diocesan chaplain, dean, and vicar general – and Langres, where he served as pastor of the Cathedral and episcopal vicar for the southern pastoral zone. He is currently vicar general of Langres. He succeeds Bishop Gilbert Louis, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- appointed Fr. Joao Muniz Alves, O.F.M., as bishop prelate of Xingu (area 368,092, population 429,000, Catholics 330,000, priests 30, religious 67), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Carema, Brazil in 1961, gave his religious vows in 1986 and was ordained a priest in 1993. He holds a licentiate and doctorate in philosophy from the Pontifical Antonianum University and a doctorate in moral theology from the Pontifical Alphonsianum Academy, and has served in a number of pastoral roles including parish vicar, deputy master of postulants, parish priest, definitor of the Francescan vice-Province “Nossa Senhora da Assuncao” in Bacabal, member of the presbyteral council, provincial minister and visitator general of the Franciscan Province of Mozambique. He is currently guardian of the Franciscan community at Sao Luis do Maranhao, parish vicar, formator and professor of moral theology. He succeeds Bishop Erwin Krautler, C.PP.S., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same territorial prelature upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- Fr. Justin Mulenga as bishop of Mpika (area 86,135, population 548,000, Catholics 133,511, priests 36, religious 84), Zambia. The bishop-elect was born in Rosa Mission, Kasama, Zambia in 1955 and was ordained a priest in 1993. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish vicar, bursar general of the archdiocese of Kasama, parish priest, and episcopal vicar for religious and the deaconry of Mbala. He is currently president of the association of diocesan clergy and pastoral coordinator.