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COMECE: Mgr. Jean-Claude Hollerich is the new president. The Jesuit spent many years in Japan. He is president of “Justice and Peace Europe”

Mgr. Jean-Claude Hollerich, Archbishop of Luxembourg, was elected this afternoon as President of COMECE, the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community. According to the new Statute, he will remain in office for five years, from 2018 to 2023. He succeeds Card. Reinhard Marx, who has chaired COMECE for two three-year terms (from 2012 to 2018). He was elected by the Bishop Delegates of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union gathered in Brussels for their Plenary Assembly from 7 to 9 March. This evening after the election, a “Mass for Europe” will be celebrated at the church of Notre-Dame du Sablon in Brussels, which will also be attended by the archbishop of Brussels, Card. Joseph De Kesel. The Mass will mark the take-over of the newly elected President of COMECE. Mgr. Hollerich is a Jesuit. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1981 and followed the Jesuit formation in the Province of Southern Belgium and Luxembourg. After the novitiate in Namur and two years of pastoral training in Luxembourg from 1983 to 1985 as a teacher at the French high school of Vauban, he left for Japan where he studied Japanese language and culture and resumed his theology studies at the Sophia University in Tokyo from 1985 to 1989. He finished his theological studies in Frankfurt am Main, earning a licentiate. On 21 April 1990, he was ordained a priest for the Society of Jesus. He spent many years in Japan where, since 1994, he has taught at the Sophia University in Tokyo and from 1999 he has served as university chaplain for the students of that University. On 18 October 2002, he took his perpetual vows in the Church of St. Ignatius in Tokyo. Furthermore, since 2008, he has been rector of the Jesuit community at the Sophia University in Tokyo and vice-rector for general and student affairs at that University. On 12 July 2011, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Archbishop of Luxembourg. Mgr. Hollerich is currently president of the “Justice and Peace Europe” network which brings together more than thirty national Commissions and aims to contribute to the public debate on issues related to social justice, peacemaking, and the protection of the environment.

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