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New Zealand

New Zealand bishop reiterates need for two new bishops

New Zealand’s Catholic bishops reiterate the importance of bishops in the parishes of Palmerston North and Hamilton.

At their November meeting, the bishops reiterated the need for two bishops to the Pope’s diplomatic representative to New Zealand, His Excellency Archbishop Novatus Rugambwa (pictured).

New Zealand bishops are appointed through missions headed by Cardinal Louis Tagle.

Rugambwa is a broker in New Zealand who recommends suitable and worthy candidates to Tagle.

Once a suitable and worthy candidate is found, Tuggle invites him to appoint his name to Pope Francis.

Having recently returned to New Zealand from Rome, Rugambwa was a prominent guest at the opening ceremony of the Bishops’ Conference in November. He shared the Pope’s greetings and blessings with them and those under their pastoral care.

They then openly voiced their concerns about the absence of bishops in both Palmerston North and Hamilton parishes.

After Charles Drennan’s unscheduled resignation, the Diocese of Palmerston North was without a bishop for over three years.

The Diocese of Hamilton has been without a bishop for nearly a year. On December 17, 2021, Steve Lowe, then Bishop of Hamilton, was appointed Bishop of Auckland.

Lowe, who was inaugurated as Bishop of Auckland in March, thanked Rugambwa for his attendance.

“Can I ask you to work hard to find a suitable bishop for Hamilton. I believe we are also looking for Palmerston North and Christchurch,” he laughed at the congregation.

Meanwhile, Auxiliary Bishop Michael Gielen was translated from Auckland and appointed Bishop of Christchurch.

In early November, Lowe, secretary of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ Conference, commented that the appointment of bishops would take a long time.

Lowe responded to an article in the international publication The Pillar, where Luke Coppen suggested the Vatican forgot that New Zealand needed to find two bishops.

Coppen pointed to the cause of the delay in Lugambwa, suggesting that Lugambwa may have a different model of church than the one generally accepted in New Zealand.


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https://cathnews.co.nz/2022/11/14/nzcbc-two-bishops-appointment-rugambwa-2/ New Zealand bishop reiterates need for two new bishops

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