Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Nunzio Galantino of Cassano all’Jonio, Italy, as secretary general “ad interim” of the Italian Episcopal Conference.
The appointment is provisional as the bishops’ conference is expected for the first time to elect a new president and secretary general by 2017 under new reforms.
At present, the Italian bishops’ conference is the only one of its kind in the world to have its two most senior positions chosen by the Pope.
Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said Bishop Galantino was appointed now in order to carry out some urgent duties. He will have all the faculties of the secretary general, but the duration of his mandate has not yet been established. Fr. Lombardi also said he will transfer to Rome for “a good part of the week, but for the time being will remain Bishop of Cassano all’Jonio”.