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Other Pontifical Acts, 21.03.2016

Vatican City, 19 March 2016 – The Holy Father has appointed:

- Archbishop Michael W. Banach as apostolic nuncio in Senegal and apostolic delegate in Mauritania. Msgr. Banach was formerly apostolic nuncio in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

- Msgr. Franciso Escalante Molina, nunciature counsellor, as apostolic nuncio in the Republic of Congo, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in La Grita, Venezuela in 1965 and was ordained a priest in 1989. He holds a degree in canon law and entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1998, serving in the Papal Representations in Sudan, Ghana, Malta, Nicaragua, Japan and Slovenia.

- Msgr. Paul Fitzpatrick Russell, nunciature counsellor, as apostolic nuncio in Turkey and Turkmenistan, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in Greenfield, United States of America in 1959 and was ordained a priest in 1987. He holds a degree in canon law and entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1997, serving in the General Affairs section of the Secretariat of State and in the Papal Representations in Ethiopia, Turkey, Switzerland, Nigeria and China.

- Fr. Óscar Hernán Blanco Martínez, O.M.D., as bishop of San Juan Bautista de Calama, (area 43,000, population 189,278, Catholics 148,331, priests 17, permanent deacons 9, religious 59), Chile. The bishop-elect was born in Puerto Domínguez, Chile in 1964, gave his religious vows in 1996 and was ordained a priest in 1997. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including chaplain of the Clinica Familia in Santiago, parish vicar, parish priest, and master of novices of the Clerics Regular of the Mother of God in Santiago. He is currently pastor of the "Nuestra Señora del Carmen" in Rancagua.