Pope Francis has appointed Raimo Ramón Goyarrola Belda bishop of the Catholic Church in Finland. The apostolic nuncio to the Nordic countries, Archbishop Julio Murat, announced his appointment at the end of Mass in St. Henry’s Cathedral in Helsinki, on Friday, September 29th.
Raimo Ramón Goyarrola Belda is a Spaniard who first studied medicine and surgery before studying philosophy and theology at the Pontifical University in Rome and then receiving a doctorate in theology. He was ordained a priest on September 1, 2002 and has been a priest of the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei.
The 56-year-old Spaniard knows his diocese quite well, as he was appointed Vicar General by his predecessor, Bishop Teemu Sippu.
Finland, which has about 5.5 million inhabitants, is a single diocese with only eight Catholic churches and about 30 priests. In Finland, which covers an area of about 338,145 km2, the Catholic community is relatively small and scattered, with about 17,000 members (in the beginning of 2023), which is less than 0.3 percent of the country’s population. Most of them are immigrants, but the majority of Finns belong to the Lutheran Church.
We sincerely congratulate the new bishop on his appointment and wish him prosperity in life and work!
Photo: Newly appointed Bishop Raimo Ramón Goyarrola Belda of Helsinki, left, and Archbishop Julio Murat, apostolic nuncio to the Nordic countries @Catholic Information Center, Diocese of Helsinki