Vatican City (Fides Service) - Pope Benedict XVI on 16 July 2005 appointed Bishop of Kaga-Bandoro (Central African Republic) Rev. Albert Vanbuel, S.D.B., President of Major Superiors in Central Africa.
The new Bishop Albert Vanbuel, S.D.B., was born on 5 December 1940 at Zolder, in the diocese of Gant in Belgium. He entered the Salesian novitiate in 1958 and made his perpetual vows on 19 April 1965. He was ordained a priest 21 September 1967. He studied at the Catholic University in Louvain obtaining a licentiate in religious and moral sciences 1969 and another in theology in 1971. In Belgium he was: Director of the Maison de Philosophie (1972-1978); assistant parish priest (1978-1983); director of Oud Heverlee youth centre (1983-1988); Provincial secretary (1988-1994). Since 1994 parish priest, he has been Superior of the Salesian community at Damala (Central African Republic) and President of Major Superiors in Central Africa.
Kaga-Bandoro diocese established in 1997 has an area of 95,000sq km., and a population of 230,420 including 50,347 Catholics (25%), gathered in 8 parishes, assisted by 17 priests (14 diocesan and 3 religious), 14 Sisters, 7 major seminarians, 114 minor seminarians, 400 catechists. Besides Catholics (25%) the population with regard to religion is as follows: other Christians 15%, 5% Muslim 55% followers of traditional African religions. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 18/7/2005; Righe 18; Parole 225)