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Joseph Werth has been re-elected as chairman of the Conference
Joseph Werth has been re-elected as chairman of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Russia for another three-year term, the conference press secretary said on Wednesday.

Bishop Cyril Klimovich was also appointed vice-chairman at the conference in Saratov, and Igor Kovalevsky general secretary of the organization overseeing over 500,000 Catholics in the country.

Joseph Werth was born in Kazakhstan in 1951, he secretly studied for the priesthood in Lithuania in the former Soviet Union and then entered a seminary in Kaunas in Lithuania.

After being ordained in 1984, he worked extensively in Kazakhstan and Saratov in south Russia before being elected in 1991 as bishop for the Asian part of Russia, based in Novosibirsk by Pope John Paul II.

In 2002 Pope John Paul II established four Russian dioceses in Moscow, Saratov, Novosibirsk and Irkutsk. Bishop Cyril Klimovich is the head of the Irkutsk diocese in East Siberia.

The bishops also sent a congratulatory message to Russia president-elect Dmitry Medvedev on his election victory on March 2.

The next congress meeting is scheduled for November 2008.


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