Hyderabad: Pope Francis on Thursday appointed Bishop Anthony Poola of Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh as the Archbishop to the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Hyderabad. The announcement

was made public in Rome at 4.30 pm (Indian Standard Time). Bishop Anthony Poola will be replacing Archbishop Thumma Bala, who resigned after attaining bishops' canonical retirement age of 75 in April last year.

"In light of the communication received from the Apostolic Nunciature, I wish to inform you that His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed Most Rev. Anthony Poola, currently Bishop of Kurnool, as Archbishop of Hyderabad," said Archbishop Felix Machado, Secretary General, CBCI in a communique.

Speaking to NewsMeter, Vicar General Archdiocese of Hyderabad, Fr. Swarna Bernard said the Archdiocese and the Catholic community welcome the decision of the Vatican. The new Archbishop is likely to take charge after a month. The announcement to this effect would be made in all churches in the Archdiocese.

Born on November 15, 1961, in Chindhukur in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, Bishop Anthony Poola joined the minor seminary in Kurnool and then studied at St. Peter's Pontifical Major Seminary, Bangalore. He was ordained a priest on February 20, 1992, and appointed Bishop of Kurnool in February 2008.

Bishop Poola, 59, will head the Hyderabad Archdiocese. The ecclesiastical province of Hyderabad includes the suffragan dioceses of Adilabad, Kadapa, Khammam, Kurnool, Nalgonda and Warangal in Telangana.

The outgoing Archbishop Bala was ordained a priest in December 1970 and appointed Bishop of Warangal in 1986. Archbishop Bala headed the Archdiocese of Hyderabad for nine years since 2011.

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