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Fiji Time: 12:50 PM on Thursday 17 April

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Archbishop consecration to go ahead

Nanise Loanakadavu
Wednesday, February 13, 2013

THE ordination of Archbishop elect of Suva Father Dr Peter Loy Chong will not be affected by the decision of Pope Benedict XVI to step down.

Father Dr Chong yesterday said they had written a letter to the Vatican last month informing the Pope of the church's wish to set June 8 aside for his consecration.

"Although we still have not received any response from the Vatican, this will not affect my ordination," Father Chong said yesterday.

"In fact, the decision has already been made and it requires three bishops to perform the consecration."

Father Dr Chong replaces long-serving Archbishop Emeritus Petero Mataca.

Pope Benedict XVI has also accepted the resignation of Archbishop Mataca.

The 79-year-old prelate had tendered his resignation upon reaching the age of 75 in conformity with the church's canon 401 of the Code of Canon Law.

The country's longest serving archbishop attended St John's College in Cawaci.

He was ordained priest on December 20 in 1959.

He became a bishop on December 3, 1974 and was officially consecrated to that position the same year.

On April 10 in 1976, he was appointed Archbishop.

Under the church law, Father Dr Chong would need to be consecrated three months after he was appointed by the Vatican.

Archbishop Mataca called on all clergy, religious and lay people to support through prayers and action for the new Archbishop of Fiji and Rotuma.