Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Karaganda, Kazakhstan diocese is vacant after Bishop Kaleta resigns

This is a somewhat newsworthy item for those of us familiar with Bishop Athanasius Schneider, ORC, since he is one of a handful of bishops in the small country of Kazakhstan.

Bishop Janusz Kaleta has resigned.  He has had charge of the diocese of Karaganda since 2011, where Bishop Schneider served as auxiliary bishop (2006-2011).  Source: VIS-News

- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, presented by Bishop Janusz Wieslaw Kaleta, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

Bishop Kaleta was is only 49.  Here is paragraph 2 under CIC 401 on resignations.
§2 A diocesan Bishop who, because of illness or some other grave reason, has become unsuited for the fulfilment of his office, is earnestly requested to offer his resignation from office.

Whatever the reason, we should pray for Bishop Kaleta.

Vacant See and a Handful of Bishops

With regards to the Diocese of Karaganda, which is now vacant, you can count on one hand the number of bishops in Kazakhstan.  Unless someone is transferred to Kazakhstan, or there is a new bishop elevated from among priests working there, I suspect after 8 years serving as an auxiliary bishop, Bishop Schneider may be headed back to his old diocese.  He was in charge of the project to build a cathedral there (see interview here and news story on the dedication to of Our Lady of Fatima). Just prior to that, he was transferred to the metropolitan See of Astana.  

An interesting side note, was that in 2008, Kazakhstan saw the first priestly ordination of a native of the country, at least in modern times.

More on the Church in Kazakhstan here. 


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