New Bishop in Honduras originally from Montreal

Thursday, December 16 2004

(CCCB – Ottawa) His Holiness Pope John Paul II named, this week, Rev. Guy Plante, P.M.E., as Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Choluteca, Honduras.

As Coadjutor Bishop, he will eventually succeed his Canadian colleague, Most Reverend Raoul Corriveau, P.M.E., who is now 74 years of age. As stipulated in Canon 401 of the Code of Canon Law, a diocesan bishop, upon reaching the age of 75, must present his resignation to the Pope. Often, when a bishop is close to retirement, a coadjutor bishop is named to assist him and to assure a smooth transition upon retirement.

Born in Montreal in 1936, Coadjutor Bishop-elect was ordained to the priesthood with the Société des missions étrangères (Foreign Mission Society) in 1961. He then studied theology at the Gregorian University in Rome and moral theology at the Alfonsianum Academy in Rome. He later obtained a doctorate in moral theology.

Honduras is not unknown to the bishop-elect, as he has been a missionary there since 1970. The only period when he was not ministering in that country was from 1997 to 2003, when he worked with the central Council of his society of apostolic life, in Rome, first as an assistant, then as vicar general and general secretary. Since returning from Europe, and at the time of his nomination, he was the national director for the Pontifical Mission Societies as well as the director of formation of lay pastoral assistants for the Diocese of Choluteca. His episcopal ordination is scheduled for 2 February 2005.

In all, there are nine other Canadian bishops in active ministry outside Canada. Other than Bishop-elect Plante and Bishop Corriveau, six of them have dioceses in the United States of America, New Guinea, Peru, Malawi, Chad and Uganda. The ninth, Archbishop Michael Miller, C.S.B., is Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome.