Staff Reporter
POPE John Paul II has named Mgr Jesús Murgui Soriano, aged 57, Bishop of Majorca. He occupies the post left vacant on the death of Mgr Teodoro Ubeda last May. Mgr Murgui was born in Valencia and has been auxiliary Bishop of Valencia since 1996.
He was apostolic administrator of the diocesis of Minorca for 16 months between 1999 and 2001.
The new Bishop of Majorca was born in Valencia on April 17, 1946, and was ordained a priest in 1969. After taking a degree in theology at the Pontifical University in Salamanca, he took his doctorate in theology in Rome in 1982, and published his thesis on the parish and the community in the Spanish church after Vatican II. Mgr Murgui now has two months in which to take possession of the diocesis.
According to Andreu Genovart, the diocesan administrator of Majorca, the new Bishop has “maintained quite a direct relationship with the Balearics.” He knew the late Bishop Ubeda well as he had been parish priest of Santa Maria in Onteniente, where he was born.
All the church bells on the island were rung yesterday, to express rejoicing at the new appointment.
The 10.30am Mass at Palma Cathedral today will be in thanksgiving for the appointment, Genovart said.
The new Bishop of Majorca said he was delighted to accept the appointment, and he spoke warmly of the work carried out by his predecessor.
In his first message to the diocesis, in which he said that providence has led to his appointment coinciding with Christmes when “united in the universal church we celebrate the great mystery of the Birth of the Lord,” he thanked the diocesan administrators for their work and asked for their prayers. The Balearic government has expressed its satisfaction at the appointment and government leader Jaume Matas sent a personal message of congratulations. The socialists also expressed their congratulations.

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