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Pope names new bishop of Asansol in eastern India's West Bengal state

Father Elias Frank, Bishop elect of the Diocese of Asansol.

Father Elias Frank (61), a priest from Asansol, West Bengal, eastern India, was chosen Bishop of the same diocese by Pope Francis on July 3.

Currently, Father Frank teaches Canon Law at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome.

Frank was born on August 15, 1962, in Bantwal, Infant Jesus Parish, in the Diocese of Mangalore, a major commercial center in the Indian state of Karnataka, southern India. 

After completing school studies in the parish school at Modankap, higher secondary studies at St. Anthony’s College in Shillong, guided by the Salesians of Don Bosco of Calcutta Province, he joined the Archdiocese of Kolkata (Calcutta) in 1983.

His minor seminary training was at St. John Mary Vianney Seminary in Barasat, philosophy at Morning Star Regional Seminary in Barrackpore, and theology at Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome. 

He was ordained a priest on April 23, 1993, at Our Lady of Happy Voyage Church in Howrah, Calcutta.

After his priestly ordination, from 1993 to 1995, Frank was a parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Church, Burdwan.

From 1995 to 1996, he was the priest-in-charge of Kristo Jyothi (light of Christ) Church, Basinda, and from 1996 to 1999, he was a parochial vicar again at Sacred Heart Church, Burdwan.

After the creation of the Asansol diocese, from 2002 to 2003, he was the parish administrator of St. Therese of Lisieux Parish, Durgapur. From 2005 to 2006, he was the parish priest of Sacred Heart Church, Burdwan. 

During the years 2005–2006, he served as a judge at the Inter-Diocesan Tribunal of Kolkata. 

From 1999 to 2001, he did his higher studies at Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome and earned a Licentiate in Canon Law in 2001–2002, a Diploma in Jurisprudence, and a Doctorate in Canon Law in 2003–2004.

From 2007 until now, he has been a professor of "The Sanctifying Office of the Church" in the Faculty of Canon Law at the same university. 

Since 2020, he has also been a visiting professor at "Accademai Alfonsiana."

He has published two books and numerous articles in various scientific journals.

He has served as editor of the journal "lus Missionale," external judge of the First Instance Tribunal of the Vicariate of Rome, Consultor of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and Commissioner for in favorem fidei marriage cases at the Dicastery for the Doctrine of Faith.

The Diocese of Asansol was created on October 24, 1997, with the first Bishop Cyprian Monis, who retired on May 4, 2020. Thereafter, Bishop Salvadore Lobo was appointed as the Apostolic Administrator.

The diocese has 25 parishes for 31,050 Catholics as of 2021, according to Vatican data-Stephen Alathara


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