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Praia Bishop’s retirement could mean re-unification of Cape Verde’s 2 dioceses 23 Julho 2009

Mindelo Bishop Arlindo Gomes Furtado will take the helm of the dioceses of both Santiago and Mindelo beginning in August, in a process that could end with their re-unification. The successor to Santiago Bishop Paulino Évora, who had been leading the Santiago Diocese since the previous diocese of Cape Verde was divided in two in 2004, admits that the designation of a new bishop for Mindelo could take some time.

Arlindo Furtado confirmed to A Semana Online that he would be taking on the governorship of both of Cape Verde’s dioceses following Paulino Évora’s retirement. “Upon reaching his 75th birthday, Paulino Évora announced his retirement from the government of the Diocese of Santiago, as canonic law requires. The Holy Father accepted his retirement and named me administrator of Cape Verde’s two dioceses,” explained Arlindo Furtado.

The choice of Arlindo Furtado to succeed Paulino Évora could mean the reunification of Cape Verde’s two dioceses, in that the naming of a new bishop for the Diocese of Mindelo is not expected to take place any time soon. Arlindo Furtado himself admits that the process of selecting a new bishop is a slow one, and that he will now have to divide his time between the Diocese of Santiago and the Diocese of Mindelo.

“I fill fulfill the will of the Holy Father. I will spend part of my time in Santiago and the other part in São Vicente, as I did when I used to travel constantly to Boa Vista at a time when there were no priests residing on that island.”

Arlindo Furtado thus takes the helm of the oldest Roman Catholic Diocese in Africa, created on January 31, 1533 by Pope Clement V. The diocese had been led by Paulino Évora since 1975, the year Cape Verde became independent from Portugal.

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