Pope Francis Accepts Retirement of Bishop of South African Diocese, Appoints Successor

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Pope Francis has accepted the retirement of Bishop Pius Mlungisi Dlungwane of the Catholic Diocese of Mariannhill in South Africa and appointed his successor.

In the latest administrative changes published Thursday, October 13 by the Holy See Press Office, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Neil Augustine Frank who has been serving as Coadjutor Bishop of Mariannhill Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in February this year as the successor of Bishop Dlungwane.

Born in August 1966 in Pietermaritzburg in South Africa’s Durban Archdiocese, Bishop Frank made his perpetual vows as a member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) on 4 January 1998 and was ordained a Priest on 21 August 1999.

As a Priest, Bishop Frank served in various capacities including Parish Priest, lecturer, head of the philosophy department and president at Saint Joseph’s Theological Institute, and provincial superior of the OMI in South Africa.

Erected as an Apostolic Vicariate on 10 September 1921 and elevated to the rank of a Diocese on 11 January 1951, Mariannhill Diocese had been put under Apostolic Visitation on 6 February 2020 after Pope Francis appointed Archbishop William Matthew Slattery to represent him in the initiative.