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Pope Benedict XVI names new ambassador for Sudan

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Jan 16, 2007 (VATICAN CITY) — Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday appointed Monsignor Leo Boccardi as the apostolic nuncio in Sudan.

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Pope Benedict XVI

As part of his new assignment, Monsignor Boccardi will receive episcopal ordination with the rank of archbishop, the Vatican press office said in its announcement today.

Until now, Monsignor Boccardi, 53, was the permanent representative of the Holy See to the International Atomic Energy Agency and to the European Organization for Security and Cooperation.

He was also the permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations Organization for Industrial Development and to the U.N. office in Vienna, Austria.

As the Pope’s representative in Khartoum, Monsignor Boccardi is succeeding Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, 54, who was appointed the secretary for the Vatican Secretariat of State’s Section for Relations with States.

Leo Boccardi was born in San Martino, Italy, on April 15, 1953. He was ordained a priest in 1979 and entered the Holy See’s diplomatic service in 1987.

The Archdiocese of Khartoum has 121 priests and 30 parishes. An archdiocesan project to educate refugee schoolchildren who have fled to Khartoum has 65 schools with some 33,000 pupils.

Sudan has over 40 million inhabitants, the majority Muslim; 12% of the population is Catholic.

(Zenit.org)

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