Prefect Named for Evangelization Congregation

Nuncio Appointed for the Philippines

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 10, 2011 ( Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Fernando Filoni, 65, substitute for general affairs of the Secretariat of State, as prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

The Vatican announced today that the archbishop will succeed Cardinal Ivan Dias, 75, who resigned due to reasons of age after serving for five years as head of the dicastery that directs the missionary work of the Church.

The congregation oversees the work of the Supreme Committee of the Pontifical Missionary Societies of the Propagation of the Faith, of St. Peter the Apostle, of the Holy Childhood and of the Missionary Union.

It currently consists of 49 members: 35 cardinals, five archbishops, two bishops, four directors of the Pontifical Missionary Societies, and three general superiors. There is also a college of consultors from various countries.

Archbishop Filoni has previously served as apostolic nuncio to Iraq, Jordan and the Philippines. He has also worked as a Vatican representative in Sri Lanka, Iran and Brazil.

Born in Manduria, Italy, he was ordained a priest in 1970 for the Diocese of Nardo-Gallipoli. He was ordained a bishop by Blessed John Paul II in 2001.

Secretariat of State

Also today, the Vatican announced that the Pope named Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, 62, apostolic nuncio to Cuba, as undersecretary for general affairs of the Secretariat of State.

The undersecretary, or «sostituto,» is the second in charge of the secretariat of state and the principal aide of the cardinal secretary of state, a post currently held by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

The undersecretary directs the section of general affairs, one of the two sections of that Vatican dicastery. The other section, the section of relations with states, is directed by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti.

The section of general affairs is similar to the ministry of the interior, and works closely with the daily business of the Holy Father.

Born in Pattada, Italy, Giovanni Angelo Becciu was ordained a priest in 1972 for the Diocese of Ozieri. In 2001, he was ordained a bishop and was appointed apostolic nuncio to Angola and Sao Tome and Principe.

He had already been serving in the Holy See’s diplomatic mission in Sudan, New Zealand, Great Britain, France and the United States.

The prelate served there until 2009, when he became apostolic nuncio to Cuba.


The Pontiff appointed Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, 59, apostolic nuncio to Chile, as apostolic nuncio to the Philippines.

The archbishop has also served as apostolic nuncio to Senegal, Cape Verde, Mali, and Guinea-Bissau, and apostolic delegate to Mauritania.

He was born in Noci, Italy, and was ordained a priest in 1978 and a bishop in 2002.

The prelate succeeds Archbishop Edward Adams, who was appointed apostolic nuncio to Greece on Feb. 22.


For the Netherlands, the Holy Father named Bishop Johannes Harmannes Jozefus van den Hende of Breda, 47, as bishop of Rotterdam.

He succeeds Bishop Adrianus Herman van Luyn, 75, who retired on Jan. 14.

Bishop van den Hende was named the coadjutor bishop of Breda in 2006. He was ordained a priest in 1991.

The Rotterdam Diocese has 528,000 Catholics, served by 383 priests, 38 permanent deacons, and 599 religious.

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