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Pope appoints Maksimilijan Matjaž new Celje bishop

Ljubljana/Celje, 5 March - Pope Francis has appointed priest of the Maribor Archdiocese Maksimilijan Matjaž as the new Celje bishop, according to the websites of the Catholic Church. He will succeed Stanislav Lipovšek, who stepped down in 2018 after turning 75.

A view of Celje from Celje Castle
Photo: STA

Matjaž has so far been a professor of Biblical studies at the Ljubljana Faculty of Theology.

Born on 23 August 1963 in Črna na Koroškem, he went to study philosophy and theology in Ljubljana and was consecrated priest on 29 June 1989 and assigned to the Maribor Archdiocese.

Until 1991 he served as a chaplain in Zreče. Between 1991 and 1995 he studied the Bible at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome to obtain a master's degree in biblical studies.

He continued his studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University, where he obtained a PhD in biblical theology in 1998. In 2000 he studied biblical archaeology at the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum in Jerusalem.

In 1998 he became an assistant at the Ljubljana Faculty of Theology and in 2001 an assistant professor at the department for biblical and Jewish studies. Since 2011, he has been associate professor for biblical and Jewish studies.

He has been a member of the clerical council of the Maribor Archdiocese since 2006 and a member of the college of councillors since 2011. He has also served as assistant priest in the Dravograd and Zreče parishes and the pastoral unit Slovenj Gradec, and the Šentilj parish.

Matjaž received congratulations from Slovenia's two archbishops, the Bishops' Conference said. Archbishop of Ljubljana Stanislav Zore said he was looking forward to Matjaž's spiritual and expert contribution to the Bishops' Conference, while Archbishop of Maribor Alojzij Cvikl pointed to his rich pastoral experience.

© STA, 2021