Pope Francis has named a Filipino Vatican diplomat as the Holy See’s permanent representative to the United Nations in New York.
Archbishop Bernardito Cleopas Auza, 55, has served as apostolic nuncio to Haiti and becomes the first Filipino to represent the Holy See at the UN.
A native of Talibon in Bohol, Archbishop Auza’s task will be to share the Church’s expertise in helping the UN to promote peace, justice, human dignity, and humanitarian cooperation and assistance.
The papal diplomat has served in Haiti since 2008, and was stationed there when a magnitude-7 earthquake hit the country in 2010.
The archbishop has also served in Bulgaria and Albania and worked in the second section of the Secretariat of State from 1999 to 2006. He was an official at the Holy See’s mission at the UN in New York before being sent to Haiti.
Born in 1959, Bernadito Auza trained for the priesthood at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, and was ordained priest in 1985.
At the UN, he replaces Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, an Indian-born prelate whom Pope Benedict XVI appointed in 2010. The first non-Italian to hold the post, the archbishop’s tenure was relatively short: his predecessor, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, served in the role for eight years and followed Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino who was the Holy See’s permanent representative to the UN for 16 years from 1986 to 2002.