SANTIAGO, Chile ( - In his first message to the Catholics of Chile's capital city on Monday, the recently appointed Archbishop-elect Javier Errazuriz Ossa of Santiago said he will follow the "path of reconciliation" set by his predecessor, Cardinal Carlos Oviedo Cabada, to solve political tensions in Chile's society.

      Archbishop-elect Errazuriz, who had been bishop of Valparaiso for only a year and a half was named successor of Cardinal Oviedo last Friday. Cardinal Oviedo, who was only 69 years old, was forced to step down due to illness. The archbishop-elect will be installed in the largest Chilean archdiocese on May 17, after the General Assembly of the Chilean Episcopate.

      Before becoming bishop of Valparaiso, the archbishop-designate worked for nine years at the Vatican as Secretary of the Congregation for Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. Archbishop-elect Errazuriz said during his first press conference that he will start his new mission "with hope and feeling a special synchrony with all the initiatives of Cardinal Oviedo. I want to continue his efforts to reconcile Chilean society and work in communion."

      "The Holy Father is asking me to assume a responsibility that overmatches my own capacities. But his decision doesn't discourage me, it gives me trust, because God's plan and actions are after all His own actions, held with His never-ending power, wisdom, and the unlimited generosity of His mercy," he added.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT:To subscribe to Catholic World News Service, available daily by e-mail, click here .

April 30, 1998 volume 9, no. 84         DAILY CATHOLIC