Vatican deputy secretary of state moved to new post

Archbishop Fernando Filoni
Archbishop Fernando Filoni

.- Archbishop Fernando Filoni, the Vatican's deputy secretary of state will now lead the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

The 65-year-old Italian cleric has held his present job for the past four years. He will be replaced by the apostolic nuncio to Cuba, Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu.

Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Feloni to his present job back in June 2007. Prior to that he spent three decades as a Vatican diplomat in Sri Lanka, Iran, Brazil, the Philippines and later, to Iraq.

It was there in 2006 he was nearly killed after a car bomb exploded next to the papal nunciature.

Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, the new deputy secretary of state, is 62 years old and originally from Pattada on the Italian island of Sardinia. He was ordained a priest in 1972.

The role of deputy secretary of state - or “sustituto” in Italian - is crucial to the running of any papacy. His role includes the posting of nuncios around the world, making curial appointments in Rome as well as advising and traveling with the Pope himself.

Since 1984, Archbishop Becciu has also been part of the Vatican’s diplomatic service which has taken him to nunciatures in Angola, New Zealand, Britain, France, the United States and presently Cuba.


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