19 Nov 2002

Samoan cardinal retires

9:30 am on 19 November 2002

The first Pacific Islander to become a cardinal, Pio Taofinuu of Samoa, has announced his retirement.

Cardinal Pio, who will turn 80 next month and who has been ill for several years, says his resignation has been accepted by the Pope.

Pio Taufinuu was ordained a priest in 1954 and after studies in Wallis and Futuna and in New Zealand, he became the first Polynesian bishop.

Meanwhile, the Vatican has named Father Alapati Mataeliga as the archbishop of the archdiocese of Samoa-Apia.