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Pope splits Venezuelan archdiocese in 2 (Vatican Press Office)

Countering a trend of consolidating dioceses, Pope Francis has split the Archdiocese of Caracas (Venezuela’s capital and largest city) in two.

Despite significant Church-state tensions with the Maduro regime, the see of Caracas has been vacant since 2018, when Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino retired; the prelate died in September 2021. Caracas’ apostolic administrator has been Venezuela’s other cardinal, Cardinal Baltazar Porras Cardozo of Mérida.

The reduced Archdiocese of Caracas will have 2.4 million Catholics, 97 parishes, and 768 priests; the new Diocese of Petare, described by AP as one of the nation’s toughest slums, will have 760,000 Catholics, 23 parishes, and 57 priests.

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