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Papal appointment signals impending reform at Italian Episcopal Conference

CWN - December 31, 2013

Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Nunzio Galantino as secretary-general of the Italian Episcopal Conference but has done only on an interim basis.

The Pope has traditionally chosen the president and the secretary-general of the Italian Episcopal Conference. The interim nature of the appointment suggests that the Italian bishops, like those in other countries, may soon elect their own president and secretary-general.

“The appointment of the new secretary general of the Italian Episcopal Conference has become urgent to the ordinary functioning of the general secretariat, and for a series of duties that require his presence,” Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Holy See Press Office, said in a statement.

“The appointment is on an ad interim basis: Bishop Galantino will have all the faculties of the secretary general, but the duration of his mandate has not yet been established,” he added.

Bishop Galantino succeeds Bishop Mariano Crociati, who served as secretary-general from 2008 to 2013 and was appointed bishop of Latina-Terracina-Sezze-Priverno in November.

While serving as the conference’s secretary-general, Bishop Galantino remains bishop of Cassano all’Jonio, the see to which he was appointed by Pope Benedict in 2011.

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