Vatican City (Fides Service) - The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI on 25 March 2006, accepted the renunciation of the pastoral government of the diocese Ubon Ratchathani (Thailand) presented by Bishop Michael Bunluen Mansap, in conformity with the Code of Canon Law, canon 401 § 1.
The Holy Father appointed Bishop of Ubon Ratchathani (Thailand) Rev. Padre Philip Banchong Chaiyara C.SS.R., director of the Redemptorist Centre at Pattaya and parish priest at St. Nikolaus parish.
Bishop elect Philip Banchong Chaiyara C.SS.R., was born on 30 January 1945 at Chang Ming, archdiocese of Thare and Nongseng. He entered the Redemptorist seminary in Siracha and later studied philosophy at Holy Redeemer College in Waterford, Wisconsin and theology at Mount St. Alphonsus Seminary at Esopus, New York USA. He made his religious profession on 2 August 1969 and was ordained a priest on 12 June 1975 in New York.
He has since been: 1976-1978: parish priest at Nongkhai Mission, Udon Thani diocese; 1979-1981: rector of the Redemptorist Seminary Minor at Siracha; 1981-1987: parish priest, Holy Redeemer Church in Bangkok; 1987-1992: parish priest at Bannoi, Khonkaen, Udon Thani diocese; 1993-2002: director of Social Work at Pattaya, Chanthaburi diocese; since 2005: Direttore delle Opere director of Social Work at Pattaya and parish priest at St. Nikolaus, Pattaya, Chanthaburi diocese.
Ubon Ratchathani diocese (1969) is a suffragan of Thare and Nongseng archdiocese. It has an area of 53,917 sq km and a population of 7,921,117 who whom 20,750 are Catholics gathered in 55 parishes assisted by 42 priests (32 diocesan and 10 religious) and 9 seminarians. Retiring Bishop Michael Bunluen Mansap was appointed bishop of Ubon Ratchathani in 1979. (AP) (25/3/2006 Agenzia Fides; Righe:290; Parole: 25)