VATICAN CITY, JAN. 1, 2001 (ZENIT.org).- On December 27, John Paul II appointed Archbishop Giuseppe Bertello as Apostolic Nuncio in Mexico. Up until now, the Archbishop was Vatican Permanent Observer at the U.N. and Specialized Institutions Office in Geneva, and at the World Trade Organization.
A few hours after the announcement of the appointment, Archbishop Bertello said he was “very honored by the appointment,” because not only is Mexico numerically “one of the largest Christian countries of the world, but also because in qualitative terms Christianity acquires a particular character there.”
After Brazil, Mexico is the country with the second-highest number of Catholics, with close to 90 million baptized persons.
During an interview with Notimex agency in his Geneva office, the new Apostolic Nuncio highlighted the particular moment being lived in Mexico with the presidency of Vicente Fox, following 7 decades of government of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which suppressed the Church to various degrees throughout its years of rule.
Archbishop Bertello said that in the last elections Mexico “gave a lesson in democracy; merit is also due to those who accepted defeat and change.”
The new Apostolic Nuncio is replacing Argentine Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, who on September 16 was appointed by the Pope to the post of substitute at the Secretariat of State for General Affairs.