Archbishop of Antananarivo in Madagascar Retires, Pope Francis Appoints Successor

Bishop Jean de Dieu Raoelison, appointed Archbishop of Madagascar’s Antananarivo Archdiocese on 5 June 2023. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Pope Francis has accepted the retirement of Archbishop Odon Marie Arsène Razanakolona from the pastoral care of Madagascar’s Antananarivo Archdiocese, and has appointed Bishop Jean de Dieu Raoelison of Ambatondrazaka Diocese as his successor.

The latest administrative changes in the world's fourth largest island nation located in the Southwestern Indian Ocean were made public by the Holy See Press Office Monday, June 5. 

Antananarivo Archdiocese has been under the pastoral care of 77-year-old Archbishop Razanakolona since his installation in February 2006; he succeeded the late Armand Gaétan Cardinal Razafindratandra.

The newly appointed Archbishop of Antananarivo, who started his Episcopal Ministry in June 2010 as Auxiliary Bishop of the same Malagasy Archdiocese holds a Doctorate in Theology from the University of Lugano in Switzerland.

Assigned the Titular See of Corniculana when he was appointed Bishop in March 2010, the Archbishop-elect was appointed the Local Ordinary of Ambatondrazaka in April 2015.


When installed as the Local Ordinary of Antananarivo, Bishop Raoelison who was ordained a Priest in September 1996 will be at the leadership of the 12,500 square kilometer Archdiocese that was erected in 1841 as the Prefecture Apostolic of Bourbon

The Archdiocese has a population of 2,005,500 Catholics, according to 2022 statistics.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.