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Diocese of Melo
Located in Uruguay. It was decided in 1897 to erect two sees suffragan to Montevideo, one of which was to be Melo, but, owing to political causes, no appointments have been made as yet. However, negotiations for a renewal of diplomatic relations between the Republic and the Holy See are now in progress, and as the recognition of the new dioceses by the State is a condition of their resumption, this probably will be shortly accorded. The Diocese of Melo is to embrace the north-eastern part of Uruguay and so will include, in part or in whole, the Departments of Cerro Largo, Riviera, Tacuarembó, and Treinta y Tres. This region has an area of about 19,600 square miles; the population, practically all Catholic, barely numbers 145,000 (1906). The district is very fertile, but there is little agriculture, most of the inhabitants, a large and the most important element of whom are Brazilians, being engaged in cattle breeding. The town of Melo, founded in 1796, is the capital of Cerro Largo and contains about 7000 persons. It is situated near the Tacumari River about 315 miles north of Montevideo. It has a fine church and also a pretty chapel of our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Artigas (2500 inhabitants) lies 60 miles north of Melo, on the Brazilian frontier. San Fructuoso, the capital of Tacuarembó, has about 3000 inhabitants. The other centres of population are little more than hamlets.
Handbook of Uruguay. Bur. of the Amer. Rep. (Washington, 1892); BRYSSEL. La république orientale de l'Uruguay (1889); Publications of the Dirección de estadística general (Montevideo); MULHALL, Handbook of the River Plate Republics (London, 1895).
A. A. MacErlean.