One of the pope's last appointments gives Estonians first bishop since World War II

Tallinn, Estonia - One of Pope John Paul II's last appointments made Philippe Jourdan Estonia's first resident Roman Catholic bishop since World War II and only the second since the Protestant Reformation.

Jourdan, 44, whose title is apostolic administrator, told the Baltic news agency BNS, "This is a very important event for the Estonian church."

He came to Estonia in 1996 and was elected vice president of the Estonian Council of Churches last year.

Estonia's first Catholic bishop since the Reformation, Eduard Profittlich, was arrested in 1941 following the Soviet occupation and died in prison a year later.

Estonia has 5,700 Catholics. Most Estonians are Lutheran, while many in the Russian-speaking minority are Orthodox.