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Italian archbishop to take #2 post at Congregation for Bishops

January 11, 2012

Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, the apostolic nuncio in Brazil, has been named by Pope Benedict XVI to become the secretary of the Congregation for Bishops.

Archbishop Baldisseri replaces Archbishop Manuel Monteiro de Castro, who was appointed last week as Major Penitentiary. Pope Benedict also announced that he will elevate Archbishop Monteiro de Castro to the College of Cardinals at the consistory on February 18.

Archbishop Baldisseri was ordained to the priesthood in Pisa, Italy in 1963. Prior to his assignment in Brazil, he had been the apostolic nuncio to Haiti, Paraguay, and Indian and Nepal. His appointment continues a trend that has become noticeable in recent months: the growing influence of Italian prelates within the Roman Curia during this pontificate.

The Italian archbishop’s appointment as the 2nd-ranking officer of the Congregation for Bishops is unusual in one respect: At the age of 71, he is older than the prefect of the Congregation, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who is 67.


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