Pope names Swiss archbishop as head of ministry

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Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday named the archbishop of Basel as the head of a Vatican ministry promoting unity among Christians, the Vatican said in a statement.

Kurt Koch, 60, will succeed prominent Cardinal Walter Kasper -- who resigned after passing the age limit of 75 -- at the head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, a body that aims to reinforce dialogue with other churches.

He will be one of the youngest head of council at the Vatican.

Since his election as pope in 2005, Benedict has replaced -- mostly for age reasons -- the heads of 16 out of 20 Vatican ministries.

On Wednesday, in a string of new nominations in various church bodies, he also created a new ministry to fight secularisation in traditionally Catholic countries.

© 2010 AFP

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