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Pope Francis appoints new head of Vatican’s interreligious dialogue

A view of St Peters Basilica 1 and Vatican City flag from the roof of a nearby building on June 5 2015 Credit Bohumil Petrik CNA 6 5 15 St. Peter's Basilica. / Bohumil Petrik/CNA.

Pope Francis appointed Spanish Bishop Miguel Ayuso Guixot Saturday as president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

Guixot succeeds Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran, who led the Vatican dicastery for over ten years until his death in July 2018.

As a priest in the Comboni Missionary of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Guixot served as a missionary in Egypt and Sudan. He has degrees in Arabic and Islamic studies, in addition to a doctorate in dogmatic theology from the University of Granada.

Guixot, 66, served as the dean of the Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies in Rome until Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in 2012.

In 2016 Pope Francis consecrated Guixot as a bishop, assigning him the titular see of Luperciana. Originally from Seville, Guixot, speaks Arabic, English, French, and Italian, in addition to Spanish.

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Interreligious dialogue has been a focus of Pope Francis’ pastoral visits in 2019. His trips to the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Bulgaria all included interreligious meetings.

In Abu Dhabi, Pope Francis signed a joint-statement on human fraternity with the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb, which he called “a new page in the history of dialogue between Christianity and Islam.”

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