Vatican City, Aug 31, 2013 / 08:36 am
Pope Francis made a key appointment at the Vatican today, naming 58-year-old Italian Archbishop Pietro Parolin as his new Secretary of State.
"It is with trepidation that I place myself in this new service to the Gospel, to the Church and to Pope Francis," said Archbishop Parolin in an Aug. 31 statement, which was released by the Holy See Press Office along with the news of his appointment.
For the last four years, Archbishop Parolin has been serving as the Vatican's top diplomat, or Apostolic Nuncio, to Venezuela.
In the much-awaited appointment, Pope Francis has tapped him to replace current secretary of state, 78-year-old Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, appointed in 2006 by Benedict XVI. Cardinal Bertone, a canon lawyer and theologian by training, has continued to serve Pope Francis since his March 13 election.