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Pope promotes Family Studies bishop

Pope John Paul on Saturday named Bishop Angelo Scola, the head of the Vatican's Institute on Marriage and the Family, as the new Patriarch of Venice.

Scola, 60, replaces Cardinal Marco Ce, who is retiring after 23 years as the Venetian patriarch, one of the most prestigious positions in the church and one which has produced two popes in the past 50 years.

Scola, who is also head of the Vatican's Pontifical Lateran University and the bishop emeritus of Grosseto, will likely be made a cardinal since the Venice position has traditionally carried with it the cardinal's rank.

The 60-year-old Scola was born in Malgrate, Italy, near Milan, in 1941 and was ordained in 1970.

In 1995, the Holy Father named him to head the Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, which has promoted the pope's conservative views on sexuality, abortion and marriage.

The Venice patriarchate has produced Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul I, the current pontiff's immediate predecessor.

Scola said in a letter on Saturday to the Venice patriarchate that he was filled with trepidation in taking on his new duties but also serene because he was following the will of the pope.