Pope Francis has appointed a Filipino missionary priest the new bishop of the Diocese of Daru-Kiunga in Papua New Guinea.
Society of Divine Word priest Joseph Tarife Durero, 53, will succeed Bishop Gilles Côté of the Missionaries of the Company of Mary, who served as bishop for 22 years.
The pope accepted the resignation Côté after he reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 in November.
The appointment of Bishop-elect Durero, until now the vicar general of the archdiocese of Madang on the north coast of Papua New Guinea, was made in May.
Born in Dapa town in Surigao del Norte province in 1969, the new bishop made his final religious vows for the Society of Divine Word on May 25, 1995.
After his philosophy and theology studies in the Philippines, Bishop-elect Durero was ordained priest on Dec. 12, 1995.
He was later sent for a mission to Papua New Guinea where he held various assignments.
Since 2017, he has been member of the council of the Society of Divine Word in Papua New Guinea, and from 2018 up to the present administrator of Madang Cathedral.
Aside from Bishop-elect Durero, two other Filipino bishops serve the Church in the southwestern Pacific country — Bishop Rolando Santos of Alotau-Sideia, a Vincentian, and Bishop Pedro Baquero of Kerema, a Salesian.