11/08/2013, 00.00
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Bangladeshi Church celebrates new Nuncio, an Indian with an ‘African’ past

by Sumon Corraya
Bishop George Kocherry is 68 years old and is a native of Kerala. In the past he served as secretary in the nunciatures in South Korea, Costa Rica, Nigeria , West Indies , Thailand , Singapore, Switzerland and Australia , and as a Papal representative to Ghana and Zimbabwe.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - More than a thousand lay Catholics, 100 nuns , 30 priests and 11 bishops from all the dioceses of Bangladesh, participated in the inaugural Mass of Msgr. George Kocherry , the new Apostolic Nuncio . The function took place yesterday in Dhaka. Archbishop Patrick D' Rozario welcomed the new papal representative to the country expressing his " full support of the whole Church of Bangladesh ."

Msgr. Kocherry, 68, is Indian and arrived in the country on 10 September . Before the ceremony he met President Abdul Hamid . During the liturgy , he hailed the community : "I am very happy that I came to Bangladesh. I will work together for the welfare of all and for humanity."

Msgr. Kocherry was born on 4 February 1945 in Changanassery (Kerala) . He left India in 1967 to study philosophy and theology in Rome, where he took a doctorate in Canon Law . In 1974 he was ordained a priest. He has served as secretary in the nunciatures of South Korea , Costa Rica, Nigeria, West Indies , Thailand , Singapore, Switzerland and Australia.

In 2000 he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana and elevated to archbishop. He served for eight years n the African country: in 2008 he was moved to the Nunciature in Zimbabwe. He came to Bangladesh to take the place of the American Archbishop Msgr. Joseph Marino , the Vatican called him to head the first diplomatic mission in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur , which was created earlier this year.


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