TANZANIA: Pope Francis Appoints Archbishop Rugambwa Coadjutor of Tabora

By Paschal Norbert

TABORA, APRIL 14, 2023 (CISA)- Pope Francis has appointed Most. Rev Protase Rugambwa, the former Secretary of the Dicastery of Evangelization as coadjutor archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Tabora, Tanzania.

In an announcement made by the Holy See Press Office on April 13, Archbishop Rugambwa who ceased to be the secretary of the Vatican department on March 15, 2023, will automatically assume his role as the local ordinary of Tabora upon the acceptance of resignation of Archbishop Paul Runangaza Ruzoka who attained the canonical retirement age of 75.

The 62-year-old prelate was born on May 31, 1960, in Bunena, in the Catholic Diocese of Bukoba, Tanzania. He was ordained a priest on September 2, 1990, in Dar-es-Salaam by Pope John Paul II during his pastoral visit to Tanzania and was incardinated in the Catholic Diocese of Rulenge, now Rulenge-Ngara.

From 2000 to 2002, he was Vicar General of the diocese of Rulenge and moderator of personnel; and from 2002 to 2008 an official of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples at the Vatican.

On January 18, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kigoma, Tanzania. He received episcopal consecration and ordination on April 13, 2008.

On June 26, 2012, Archbishop Rugambwa was appointed Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples with the role of President of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS), replacing Archbishop Piergiuseppe Vacchelli whose resignation was accepted upon having reached the age limit. At the same time, he received the title of Archbishop “ad personam”. On November 9, 2017, he was appointed secretary of the same congregation.

In the Catholic Church, a coadjutor bishop has a right to automatic succession of a diocese when the presiding bishop dies, resigns or is transferred from office.