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Vatican     JOHN PAUL II SUPPORTS GROWTH OF CATHOLIC CHURCH IN SIBERIA
The Holy Father has named his special envoy to the consecration of the Cathedral of Irkutsk, see of the Apostolic Administration of Eastern Siberia, which will take place on 8 September.
    The Pope will be represented by Belgian Cardinal Jan Pieter Schotte, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops. For this occasion, Russian Catholics have organised in Irkutsk the first Marian Congress since the fall of Communism.
    Given the growth of Catholic communities in Siberia, John Paul II decided in May of 1999 to erect what in practice is a new diocese in Irkutsk, although its technical name is not diocese but apostolic administration.
    Up until now, Siberia was, perhaps, the largest diocese in the world. However there will now be two ecclesiastical territories: one for Eastern and another for Western Siberia.
    Zenit (available soon)
   
29 Aug 00



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