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 CNS Story:

BENEDICT-APPOINTMENTS Feb-27-2013 (230 words) xxxi

Flurry of personnel appointments mark last days of pontificate

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In the 18 days between announcing his resignation and leaving office, Pope Benedict XVI named 19 new bishops and accepted the resignations of seven others.

It was not a last-minute attempt to leave his seal on the church -- he had named hundreds of bishops in eight years as pope -- but was part of the normal practice for the end of a pontificate, said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman.

After 8 p.m. Feb. 28 and until the election of a new pope, "no nominations can be made and no resignations accepted. Everything remains frozen," Father Lombardi said.

The new pope, who presumably will be elected before March 24, will have a full slate of Holy Week and Easter liturgies and will need time to settle in.

"Therefore, questions of the ordinary governance of the church, which had already matured and were ready for publication, are done now so as not to accumulate," the spokesman said Feb. 27.

"It's natural to dispatch things at the end of one period of governance to prepare for another's governance," he said.

In addition to the new bishops named and bishops' resignations accepted, between Feb. 11 and Feb. 27 Pope Benedict made six appointments in the Roman Curia, gave six nuncios new assignments, created one new diocese and established a new apostolic vicariate, a jurisdiction similar to a very small diocese.


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