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Pope Francis on Thursday named Bishop Rui Manuel Sousa Valério as patriarch of Lisbon, just days after the conclusion of World Youth Day in the capital city of Portugal. The pope on Aug. 10 also accepted the resignation of Cardinal-Patriarch Manuel Clemente, who has led the patriarchate since May 2013. Clemente turned 75 last month.

Valério, a member of the Missionaries of the Company of Mary for more than three decades, has been bishop of the Military Ordinariate of Portugal since the end of 2018.

The 58-year-old bishop was born in Ourém, in the Diocese of Leira-Fátima. He studied for the priesthood at two Rome universities, the Pontifical Lateran and the Pontifical Gregorian. He also completed a course in linguistics at a third university in Rome, and a course in spirituality at the Centre International Montfortain in Louvain, Belgium.

The pope’s appointment comes just days after the Patriarchate of Lisbon hosted hundreds of thousands of young Catholics for the celebration of World Youth Day Aug. 1–6. Francis also participated in the event, visiting the Portuguese capital as well as Fátima, from Aug. 2–6.

Clemente celebrated the opening Mass of WYD on Aug. 1, while Lisbon Auxiliary Bishop Américo Aguiar oversaw the planning of the major international event. Aguiar, who will be made a cardinal by Pope Francis on Sept. 30, had been considered a potential candidate for the leadership of the historic patriarchate.

The Patriarchate of Lisbon, which has roots dating back to the fourth century, as of 2020 served nearly 1.5 million Catholics — 89% of the area’s population. It also has a second auxiliary, Bishop Joaquim Augusto da Silva Mendes, a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco.

By Hannah Brockhaus

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