The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and for Societies of Apostolic Life, generally referred to as the Congregation for Religious, the curial department responsible for all men and women in religious congregations, has gotten a new prefect. Succeeding Franc Cardinal Rodé, who retires at the age of 76, is Archbishop João Bráz de Aviz, until now the archbishop of Brasilia.
With his new appointment, he is one of only two South-American prefects of a congregation, despite the. relative importance of South America in the Catholic world. The other prefect is Italian-Argentinian Leonardo Cardinal Sandri, who heads up the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.
Archbishop Bráz de Aviz is 63 and was archbishop of Brasília since 2004. Before that he was archbishop of Maringá (2002-2004), bishop of Ponta Grossa (1998-2002), auxiliary bishop of Vitória (1994-1998) and priest of Apucarana (1972-1994), all in Brazil.