Latin American Bishops Elect Leader From Mexico

Vice President Chosen From Colombia

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MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, MAY 20, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The Latin American bishops' council (CELAM) elected the president of the Mexican Episcopal Conference to lead them for the next four-year term.

Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Tlalnepantla, 61, was chosen Wednesday. He succeeds Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis, archbishop of Aparecida, Brazil, 74.

CELAM is concluding today in Uruguay its 23rd Ordinary Assembly.

Carlos Aguiar Retes was born in 1950 in Tepic, and ordained in 1973. He was appointed bishop of Texcoco in 1997. He has a doctorate in biblical theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, and he formed part of the team that prepared the Bible of America.

In 2007 Benedict XVI appointed him a member of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and since March 2009 he has been archbishop of Tlalnepantla.

He has already served in leadership of CELAM, having been secretary-general and vice president.

Vice president

CELAM members elected the archbishop of Bogota as vice president.

Archbishop Jesús Salazar Gómez, 68, is president of the Colombian Episcopal Conference.

He was born in Bogota in 1942 and ordained in 1967. He was appointed bishop of Cucuta in 1992, archbishop of Barranquilla in 1999, and archbishop of Bogota in 2010.

He has been a member of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum and a representative on the executive council of Caritas Internationalis.