Vatican City (Fides Service) - The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI on 14 July 2005 accepted the renunciation of the pastoral government of the Apostolic Vicariate of Kuwait presented by Bishop Francis Micallef, O.C.D., in conformity with the Code of Canon Law, can. 401 § 1.
The Holy Father also appointed Vicar Apostolic of Kuwait Rev Fr. Camillo Ballin, M.C.C.I., Director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies in Cairo (Egypt), assigning to him the titular see of Arna.
The new Vicar apostolic was born at Fontaniva, province of Padova, diocese of Vicenza, Italy, on 24 June 1944. He studied at Comboni seminaries at Padova, Brescia and Novara. He made his perpetual profession on 9 September 1968 and was ordained a priest at Verona on 30 March 1969. Then he was sent to Lebanon and Syria to study Arabic 1969 - 1971. Assigned to the delegation in Egypt he started his apostolate in the Latin parish of St Joseph Zamalek-Cairo. Later he was appointed parish priest (1972-1979). He was nominated Delegation Superior and provincial Superior (1980-1989). He was assigned to the province of Sudan where he opened a Training Institute for teachers of religion in schools (1989-2000). Since 2000 he has been Director of the Dar Comboni Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies in Cairo (Egypt) and a teacher at the inter-rite major seminary.
The Vicariate apostolic of Kuwait (1954) has an area of 17.900sq km, a population of 2,650,000 including 158,500 Catholics gathered in 4 parishes assisted by 10 priests (2 diocesan and 8 religious) and 13 women religious. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 14/7/2005; Righe 19; Parole 260)